This past week has seen the beginning of confirmation hearings at the Hague. Ruto, Sang and Kosgey are in for what is really a defining time in their lives. No matter how things go, their lives are never going to be the same again. These are some of the random thoughts I had as I watched some of the sessions.
1. Kenyans forget easily and move on
Being reminded of what happened in that dark period of our country’s history, I realise how easily we forget and move on. There are people now finishing close to four years in IDP camps. Many efforts have been made to resettle them but still, there are five year old children now whose life is entirely so far revolving around the post election violence. But many other things have happened and crowded out these from our agenda. We have found other ‘newsworthy’ issues to focus on. Kenyans for Kenya is currently sexier than Kenyans for IDPs. The ‘feel-good’ factor in helping IDPs and/or dealing with the issue has waned and we have basically learnt to live with it. As the events are now being recounted it really does sound like ‘a movie’ as Ruto put it when he first appeared at the Hague and we are reminded of how much and how quickly we have forgotten. Politicians and the media have taken us from one agenda to another at the speed of their convenience.
2. Many people want the charges confirmed
There is a focus primarily on Ruto and Uhuru simply because of their presidential ambitions. The media will spin this story and milk it for all its worth. Some politicians see the Hague as a tool being used by the Prime Minister to ‘fix’ these two. I think the PM and God get credit and/or blame for many things they have nothing at all to do with. Much as it seems he would benefit from these two being out of the picture next year, I cannot see how much influence he has on the Hague process. This thing seems to be out of his hands. In fact, he may be dragged into it by the ‘suspects’ -insert Trendafilova accent-
Many Kenyans also feel that this whole case is not about the violence but the culture of impunity. This is proof that despite being a sovereign nation, we are part of a global community and they will assert the right we have given them to be ‘in our face’ when we misbehave. It appears that if these charges are confirmed we will also be able to move on, with a sense, true or false, that we have now at least injured if not slain this beast of impunity.
3. What if the charges are not confirmed?
“Hata Hague ni chama?”. I don’t think so. I am sure many of these politicians will try and start a ‘wave’ thing and try to use it to surf into power. If they do, it will have to be without me. Your innocence will not be proof of competence for leadership. The criteria we use for choosing our leaders should not be suspended. My view is that maybe we should look at other new leaders who have emerged and thrown their hat into the ring. I am glad the field is now getting a bit crowded. At this rate we may end up with an A3 sized ballot paper but hey, choice is not bad. From Wakholi to Mutava, Karua to Wamalwa, Tuju to Ole Kiyiapi, twende kazi. What will get my vote is proof of ability to unite this country and move it forward.
4. Politicians will lie
Remember Reuben Ndolo saying, “What I said was, ‘weka tyre gari ipite'”? I watched this week as Ruto was being interviewed by Jeff Koinange and he castigated the PM and others who think that foreigners are the only competent lot. A few days later we watch a mzungu lawyer defending him. I was thinking, hmmm… who are you kidding? Also, just coz you can enumerate the kind of neighbours you have, by name and tribe, that does not make you any less a tribalist. This is one amazing thing that I think get weaker with every generation. Our parents are more keen than we are in knowing what tribe your friends and particularly potential spouse come from than we are. Our children even less. This, I believe is a good thing.
5. The truth will always come out
It may take long and the liar will even forget and seem to think he has gotten away with it, but the truth will always find you out. I have not seen any brain activity that is as tiresome as lying. You need to keep track of everyone you have lied to, the flavour of lie you used on them. Your lie needs to be consistent. If you work hard enough you will even create a parallel universe of beings who, including yourself, actually believe that what you are saying is the truth. If I lie to one person and then tell another the truth, I have to work so hard to ensure that the two do not meet and compare notes. I will need to generate an elaborate scheme that is believable and credible to justify myself in the event the unthinkable happens. I have a feeling that this is what Christ was talking about when he said that the truth will set you free and that he that the Son has set free is free indeed. Lying is hard work. It is also said that three people can keep a secret provided that two of them are dead. One day it will be clear what and who triggered and fueled the post election violence. One of them most interesting statements I heard at the Hague last week was this. “The devil did visit Kenya early 2008, but he did not visit at the invitation of my client.”
What do you think?