I Weep Not For The Ocampo Six But The Spell Of Negative Ethnicity They Have Cast On The Nation
With Ocampo’s issuance of summons to The Hague Six, their followers are shocked and panic stricken. The bravado of Uhuru and Ruto has flopped and will not protect those who perpetrated crimes against humanity during the post election violence.
In the eerie silence following the summons, the Ocampo Six seem deflated and off balance, almost sure, government efforts to secure a deferral of their case at the ICC will not save or help them to counter Ocampo. And as Ruto and Uhuru are dumfounded, their followers among the Kikuyu and the Kalenjin seem frozen in their tracks, unable to proceed because their leaders are confused and prostrate before Ocampo. In fact, their statements of apparent surrender have left their followers confused, desperate and hopeless.
But when Ruto and Uhuru catch their breath, which way will they go? Will they surrender or fight on?
If the government relentless campaign for a deferral is anything to go by, more covertly than overtly, Uhuru and Ruto will stand up, wipe off dust and fight to checkmate Ocampo and Raila whom they believe will be the primary beneficiary of their trials and removal from the presidential race.
However, Uhuru and Ruto’s determination will not be to fight Ocampo and Raila in but out of court, not with law but a hoped for presidency and ethnic chaos that will almost certainly plunge the country into greater ethnic violence than before. But on exactly what path might the pair want to take Kenya to save themselves?
First, for psychological comfort and political cover, the Ocampo Six will take refuge in the jungle of their communities.
Already, through sympathetic or compromised media, Ruto and Uhuru have succeeded to portray themselves as the de facto leaders the Kalenjin and Kikuyu communities respectively.
Similarly the two have succeeded to portray The Hague trials not as prosecution against individuals but Kikuyu and Kalenjin communities through their so-called leaders. Problems of the Ocampo Six are painted as their communities’ problems. And in secret conversations this is what we hear. I am carrying the cross for you. I am dying because I fight for you and saved the IDPs. Yes, we need collective defense. As I die for you, you too must die for me. This trial is not just a conspiracy to knock me out of the presidential race, it is more a conspiracy by Ocampo and Raila to ruin you and only me can save you.
However, to organize collective defense, Kikuyu and Kalenjin communities must be put under siege by giving them enemies. And their first enemy is Ocampo’s West. They are prosecuting us, not because we have committed crimes but because President Kibaki is saving us through China and other Asian countries at the expense of the West. Our other enemy is Raila Odinga whom President Obama wants as President of Kenya and Ocampo will therefore not indict. This is why Ocampo has not indicted Raila and Anyang Nyong’o for mass action or violence.
Unable to comprehend Luo leaders’ exception from prosecution, the Kikuyu and the Kalenjin who were former enemies are now allies and friends with Luo as their primary enemies. They ask why propagators of mass action escaped Ocampo’s noose or have they? But once they have enemies, Uhuru, Ruto and their communities have a reason to fight.
From this perspective, from whichever angle one looks at the 2012 elections, Kikuyus will cooperate more closely with Kalenjins than ever before. However, this cooperation could have a downturn against the Luo, now seen as a common enemy of the two communities, unless it is most carefully shepherded into an all inclusive nationalism.
In the meantime, for community survival, a covert instrument of ethnic defense is in the making. Leaders and mostly very ordinary Kikuyus, Luhyas, Luos, Kalenjin and others now urge that their communities must unite as one, have one leader and without exemption, speak with one voice – that of the one leader. Driven into fear, fright and panic, vulnerable communities are covertly constructing ethnic dictatorships, not just to fight ethnic enemy communities but also coerce every one of its members into compliance or be branded a traitor to be eliminated.
These ethnic dictatorships operate with the money of ethnic aristocrats, covert government support, sycophancy and greed of idle community elders, currently busy planting seeds of ethnic discord everywhere. In Rwanda, ethnic dictatorship cooperated with State dictatorship to wipe out nearly a million Tutsis called cockroaches and fifty thousand Hutu nationalists called traitors
Using ethnic dictatorships, its is expected that even from The Hague, Uhuru and Ruto will be able to impose on Kenya whoever will the next president to rule on their behalf until they come back to their kingdom as Kenyatta did before them. While this might be wishful thinking, the harm it can wreck is real.
To remain atop of Kenyan politics, Ruto and Uhuru have succeeded to not just to look clean despite the stench and foulness of the crimes they are accused of, but to erase criminality and shamefulness from crimes against humanity, the worst harm Kenyan politicians and media have done to Kenyan sense of morality and humanity. Because they are associated with ethnic defense and interests, in the psyche of competing ethnic communities, crimes against humanity perpetrated against enemy communities are not criminal. Their punishment is therefore not desirable or associated with justice for perpetrator or victim community or even IDPs, some who have offered to raise money for the defense of the Ocampo Six.
Indeed, because perpetrators are viewed as community heroes and champions, neither The Hague nor a local tribunal is welcome unless it is to cleanse the names of perpetrators, viewed by many as would-be purpose of a local tribunal. Completely enslaved by negative ethnicity, poor Kikuyus and Kalenjins don’t want justice. They have been conditioned to want only their own in power. Even to IDPs, for whose justice The Hague trials are pursued, ethnic power comes before justice!
If Kenyans follow Ruto and Uhuru blindly, to save themselves, they are not incapable of setting Kenya aflame with the fuel of negative ethnicity and end it as Somalia and Yugoslavia were. And these two will not be fighting for their communities or Kenya as they claim to but themselves only.
As for Raila, he may be celebrating the departure of Uhuru and Ruto to The Hague but his loss of the Kikuyu and the Kalenjin in Rift Valley is near total. And as he tries to counter the hydra of KKK with the equally deadly alliance of Thirty Nine against Three – structured along the lines of the Forty One against One – Raila risks the ephemeral-ism of gaining the world but losing his soul – Kenya. Already, blaming Raila for the departure of Uhuru and Ruto guarantees he cannot benefit from their absence. In fact it is even whispered that, at The Hague, Ruto will not die alone. He will safely deliver Raila to Ocampo.
One man that will however enjoy a new lease of life from the absence of the Ocampo Six will be former President Moi. With the collapse of ODM in Rift Valley, admission by many that Ruto misled them there in spite of Moi’s warnings and Moi’s recent campaigns for peace and ethnic cohesion, nobody will stop the former president reaping from the fall of Ruto. The only question is whether his sons can translate community’s good will for the father into their own political advantage.
As for Kibaki’s arm of government, the more they try to rescue the Ocampo Six, the more they deepen the hole they are in. Unless Kibaki is fighting to forestall his own inclusion into the case, it is time to count government losses and quit the futile and misguided effort.
Regarding those who are still praying for the miraculous presidencies of Uhuru and Ruto, the game is over. Those who ride to power on the back of the tiger of negative ethnicity must end up in its belly.