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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Ocampo List

Kenya is starting to sound like the place I knew before the historic passing of a new constitution.

I have been listing to reactions to to naming of the six men ICC prosecutor Mr. Ocampo named as the main perpetrators of the shameful ethnic conflagration of 2007 elections.

The country has forgotten that the passing of the new constitution was a rejection of ethnic patronage and impunity and an endorsement of the rule of law, a restoration of our confidence in state rather than tribal loyalty.

But after Ocampo read his list the drum roll of ethnic fiat is back. Across the land, different ethnic communities are standing with their own. I heard a caller on BBC Africa service say that they had no problem with the Ocampo list because the Kenyan prime minister was not on the list. A caller from the Rift Valley trashed the list and the investigations by the ICC.

It is interesting to observe that the lives of nearly 1,200 Kenyans do not count much where ethnic considerations are paramount. It is incredible that sections of the Kenyan public are rising up and casting aspersions on the ICC process. I heard some say that the west is using the Hague process to continue to dominate and humiliate African politicians.

My sense is that the ICC process will cause the Kenyan government to split down the middle. This is ironic because the post election violence was a boon to both Mr. Kibaki (incumbent and sitting president) and Raila Odinga (leader of opposition and sitting prime minister.

From the statement released by the Kenyan state house, it is clearly beyond Mr. Kibaki's pay grade to demand that members of his cabinet named resign from public service. Of course we understand that the six are presumed innocent until proved guilty. But Caesar's wife must be beyond reproach.

I can say, with confidence that the big political and ethnic interests will coalesce to protect all the six named by Mr. Ocampo.

In the end, not Ocampo but the Kenyan people must stand up for justice.
Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone from Zain Kenya

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