You don’t know me and we have never met but I have some very important things to say that should greatly help you in the colossal task ahead of you.
Since this is an open letter I am aware that many Kenyans will read it and passionately agree or disagree with me. My appeal to them is simple. The future of our country depends on us getting to the bottom of the mystery behind what happened in December 2007 and January 2008. This is a good time to clear our heads of all the propaganda that has been flying left right and centre and all the tribal emotions that have been very deliberately whipped up inside us. We need to get rid of all this excess baggage and focus on the truth. The whole truth and nothing but the truth.
But before I tell you what you probably already know, let me tell you a little story. Kindly oblige me, because Kenyans who have been reading my blog over the years will tell you that I love to tell stories. And sometimes I like to think that they help folks to get to the gist of things quickly. You be the judge, sir.
There was this father of many sons who though of himself as a genius. He hardly needed advice from anybody because he KNEW that he knew everything and nobody could outthink him or give him advice.
One day his first born son committed suicide. He left a detailed note explaining why he had taken his life. You see unknown to anybody else, a long time ago the old man had wanted to be a medical doctor but he did not quite qualify to go to university to study medicine. And so he purposed that before he dies his son must achieve what he had failed to achieve so many years earlier. He did everything in his power to make this happen. But all the time the genius did not realize one simple truth. He was trampling on the dreams of his first born. The boy was an excellent artist and he had the makings of being a great painter. But alas, the genius could not allow him to paint. Paint!!! What kind of stupid career was that? Somebody had to be really stupid to take up such a vocation. It wasn’t even a proper career, the genius KNEW.
And so when his first born defied him one day to follow his dreams, the old man cursed him. And after that there was no way that the poor son could make it in life, even where he was gifted. When the first born son discovered this truth (very late in life when he had become so frustrated) he despaired and quickly took his own life. What else could he do, he reasoned.
The genius decided that he would now transfer his big dream to the second born son. And so he went on and on through all his sons (and even his two daughters) without quite fulfilling his dream. He ended up a bitter and disappointed old man. But guess where the biggest damage was done? It was with his children. Everybody is born with a certain talent and gift and the worst thing anybody can do is to shut down somebody else’s dream. In many cases it is better just to murder them and get it over with. It is a lot kinder.
Even after all the damage that had been done, “the genius” did not believe he had done anything wrong. After all he had wanted the best for his children and never delayed in paying school fees. So what mistake had he done?
The moral of this story is that damage will continue to be done until the day somebody identifies the root cause of the whole problem and dares to deal with it. And many times it may not be so obvious to the casual observer who fears to dig deeper.
Kenya is at a very dangerous time of her history. What we need most at this stage is to identify the root cause of our problems (especially the more recent ones) and call them out by name without fear or favour.
And that is exactly how I will identify what really caused the problems that almost shut down Kenya in December 2007 and January 2008.
There are three people most responsible for what happened to us as a nation. Some of these people are convinced that what they did was for the good of Kenya and Kenyans, whatever the price that was paid.
Mr Ocampo, even if you do not haul these three people to the Hague to face charges it is in the best interests of Kenyans that these folks are completely kept out of Kenyan politics. More on that at the end of this open letter to you.
To understand what happened we need to remind ourselves of the events following the heady 2002 presidential elections where Kenyans finally got rid of an animal called KANU (or so they thought) from State house. You have never seen serious celebrations like the ones we saw in December 2002. A poor chap who couldn’t even swim dived into the murky waters of Uhuru park in sheer ecstasy and emerged muddy and wet but he didn’t care. (Remember the amazing footage of the swearing in of president Kibaki while he was still on a wheelchair that memorable December?
Actually if that man who dived into the waters at Uhuru park could have gotten a peek into the future and seen what was coming he would have stayed in the dirty waters of the Uhuru Park pond and drowned himself.
What followed was squabbling over an MOU (Memorandum of understanding) that was signed between Raila Odinga and Mwai Kibaki. President Kibaki may have done a terrible thing to dishonour the MOU but I dare ask what did Raila want or expect? To share power with Kibaki? To have Kibaki run back to him before he made any major decisions? Or perhaps he wanted acknowledgement from Kibaki that the man would never have gotten elected president without him (Raila). Whatever his real motives this man Raila Odinga began a war to discredit the Kibaki administration from within. At one point Raila openly told Kenyans to expect a general election soon.
So I put it to you that the person who put in motion the chain of events that provoked the deaths of so many Kenyans in December 2007 was in fact Raila Odinga.
I can already feel the stones being hurled at me. But engage your brains for a minute and put yourself in the shoes of Mwai Kibaki. What would you have done under the circumstances? Would you have quietly given in and let Raila have his way?
Indeed let historians record that the biggest mistake Raila Odinga made in 2007 was to ignore a proverb that founding father President Mzee jomo Kenyatta had used years earlier in response to a “change the constitution group” whose clear objective was to make sure that Vice President Daniel Moi never took over power from Jomo Kenyatta. Kenyatta quietly called them fools and advised them that when you want to subdue a bull, you NEVER show it the rope you are going to do it with. You just don’t. Mr Ocampo sir, I know that you will be able to identify with this proverb because I happen to know you are familiar with bull fighting.
Kenyans will remember what ODM was doing in the run up to the general elections in December 2007? It was as if Raila was already living in State house. Well you can call it the usual way with politics but I pray that you try and wear Mr Mwai Kibaki’s shoes there for a minute. What would you have felt if it was you? What would you have done? What would you have been pushed or provoked to do?
So the first guilty party in the mess we found ourselves in is Mr Raila Odinga. He is guilty of provocation. He provoked one Mwai Kibai to commit murder. Now in law Mr Odinga is NOT guilty of any criminal offence. However his actions allow some sort of mitigation from the person who went on to commit murder. If he has some good lawyers they can ask for the charges to be reduced to manslaughter. However there is only one little problem here. The man did not murder one or two people. In fact the Kenyan government still (officially) insists that about 600 people lost their lives in the dark events following those presidential elections. The press has stuck on the figure of about 1,000. Kumekucha sticks on the figure of close to 5,000 souls.
Now the next thing that happened was that Mwai Kibaki had to do something. Wouldn’t you? And so he rigged the presidential elections. If you have the newspapers that reported the general election tallies then you have valuable evidence that Mr Ocampo needs to look at to prove that the elections DID NOT reflect the clear will of the Kenyan people and that was part of the provocation to the troubles that followed. There is even more evidence to the effect that shortly before the delayed presidential elections was announced a number of highly “suspicious” things happened. The then police commissioner had what has to be his lengthiest press conferences ever where he dwelt on the issue of folks accepting election results without resorting to violence. Then many Kenyans also witnessed riot police surrounding and sealing off the city mortuary. Were they guarding dead bodies? Let me just stop there.
My point is that by simply reviewing the events that resulted from orders given by somebody from government shortly before “the results” were announced a lot of things will become very clear. And that is the president and his aides “knew” he had “won” the elections before the results were announced.
Mr Ocampo for Kenyans to see that justice has been done, somebody has to take responsibility for those lethal “orders” and that person should not be the then police commissioner Maj Gen Hussein Ali only. Not even the then minister in charge of internal security only.
The third person most responsible for the loss of life is one William Ruto. He fanned up emotions amongst the Kalenjin people mainly for his own political gain. Have you ever seen a person become a political kingpin for a whole community virtually overnight, unseating somebody like Moi who has held sway over the community for over half a century? Things happen suddenly in an election when people stir emotions. I am reliably informed that the evidence that would link this man to direct involvement in the violence is the kind that would not be admissible in a court of law in Kenya. But the Hague might be a different ball game altogether. Only that I fear this smart man has made a deal with those who have access to this evidence and therefore it will never be released to you Mr Ocampo.
Kindly excuse me for a minute, Mr Ocampo and let me address myself to my fellow Kenyans very directly for a minute.
Fellow Kenyans put your party and tribal affiliations aside for a minute and put on your thinking caps.
Everybody fears the next general elections and there is a lot of anxiety that violence could break out yet again and this time it could be a lot worse. Now what if something was done to stop these three people exercising any kind of political influence over the elections in 2012? For starters they should not even be allowed to run as councilors. Don’t you think it would magically diffuse all tensions and guarantee a very peaceful election?
Mr Ocampo I am sure that many Kenyans will agree with me over that last statement I have just made. And this is yet another reason why you must make sure that your investigations focuses on these 3 people (before anybody else) and that they are held responsible for the loss of life of so many innocent, poor Kenyans whose blood is crying out from the ground and no doubt this may be one of the reasons why you Mr Ocampo appear to be so driven to see justice done in Kenya.
Good luck sir and one last piece of advice. It is critical that at all times that you are involved in these investigations that you imagine yourself in a pit full of the most poisonous snakes in the world. And actually sir, that is exactly what you have done sticking out your neck to investigate this matter. Take every little precaution when you are in the country. Never use the same car, instead rely on the available excellent car rental services in Nairobi, even for limousines. Be careful when you eat in restaurants (kindly compare notes with one retired Detective inspector John Troon. But whatever happens be sure that the vast majority of Kenyans across political affiliations are cheering you on. Go Ocampo, go!!
Good luck sir, turning stones that are way too heavy to be turned and have NEVER EVER been turned.
Wakaribishwa Kenya nchi ambayo hakuna matata.