In this NTV news clip, a well known Raila critic–and that is to put it mildly, David Ochwangi, and a couple of other individuals are interviewed on their views regarding the recent ICC court decision to confirm charges against DPM Uhuru Kenyatta, William Samoei Ruto, Francis Muthaura and Joseph Sang (the Ocampo-4).
Several observations can be made about this piece.
First, even though not speaking as a lawyer, Ochwangi misstated the law.
Confirmation of ICC charges requires substantial evidence that crimes against humanity have been committed, not a preponderance of evidence as Ochwangi claimed; the former is a higher standard than the latter, which Ochwangi either intentionally misstated or ignorantly or inadvertently did so.
Someone should advise NTV to correct the statement, otherwise it’s a misleading one–not that it matters greatly but for accuracy sake.
Second, Ochwangi could not help himself but try to basically question why Raila is not at the Hague but could not bring himself to say that overtly as he knows it’s a bogus question so he instead opted to raise the irrelevant question as to why other people he claims are on “a list of 14 people” are not the Hague.
The fact is, the ICC Chief Prosecutor has made it clear there is no evidence linking Raila to the crimes the Ocampo-4 stand charged as having committed and that issue is closed no matter how many times Ochwangi and other anti-Railaists rail and rave about it.
We all know what the ICC court said about Kibaki and meetings at State House and, the fair and objective thing to do, is to let that court get to the bottom of all of that, which there is great confidence it will.
In other words, it would be a complete waste of time for Kenyans other than those directly involved in the litigation of these cases or those who have sufficiently studied these cases as a matter of law to try and try these cases in these fora or elsewhere.
Third, Ochwangi says “the government should now take over these cases”–not so fast!
I am all for the cases to be returned back home for trial but only provided proper foundation and mechanisms are put in place to ensure the cases can be tried there in a fair and just manner consistent with the rule of law and this includes significantly effecting judicial reforms more than we currently have underway.
The bringing of these cases back home cannot be–as Kibaki and the suspects wish–merely to derail the wheels of justice at the Hague,
Finally, but not least, we must demand a re-filming of this broadcast consistent with our constitution.
How come its only men who were interviewed and of the three, two are Kisiis?
Does NTV not know about the demands of our constitution regarding gender and regional balance?
Or did our friend Ochwangi set-up the whole thing up with the help of his PNU buddies?
Anyway, no harm.
90% of the viewers would have no clue what Ochwangi was really trying to convey as his main message and that is, Raila should be at the Hague!
Those who would, are likely the ones who have heard Ochwangi and others say the same thing 10,000 times on the Internets (Bush’s word) and have long since dismissed it as merely ranting and raving about Raila this, Raila that to the point of hoarseness.
If they have heard and still think there is something there there, then it makes no difference whether what is said on this NTV clip–those are the voters any politician seeking office must discount and put on the “Gone” column.
The viewers will, however, get the overall message of the piece and that is, ICC is not to be trusted because it’s “compromised by local [Kenya] politics” as one of the other Kenyans interviewed for the piece claims.
In What Outcome Kenyans Should Expect Out of ICC, I noted that the Court must look beyond the law and take into consideration idiosyncrasies peculiar to Kenya but in so doing, I was not and I am not suggesting that the cases be compromised in any way; rather, a balancing of these interests must be made in the end outcome.
Thus, there is a clear difference between what I posited and what this NTV piece is trying to convey; what I posited is in the national interest, what NTV is conveying is in the narrow interest of the now Ocampo 4.
The secondary message in the piece–and a perfunctory one at that, is that ICC “wheels of justice should be given a chance to spin.”
What is spinning for sure, is NTV in its spin on this story.
Peace, Unity and No Media Spin By Media.