Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Q&A: The Kenyan Elections

بِسْمِ اللّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ

This question forms two parts:

First: The sign of the presidency electoral campaigns of the Kenyan election began in Kenya in spite of the decision of the high Kenya court which extended the election from Aug 2012 until Mar 2013! In these campaigns it is seen that Ruto is arranging his campaigns together with Kenyata against Odinga while Rotu was with Odinga in 2007 election against Kenyata who was helping Kibaki in his campaign, so how Ruto changed?

Second: Also the ICC accused Kenyata and Ruto with violence after 2007 election, which means as if it helps the successful opportunity of Odinga against Kenyata and Ruto, the British ones. So how the ICC which is beside Europe gives Odinga such chance?


For the answer to the first part of the question to be clear, one must review the related events prior to this:
1 - Kibaki was the candidate of the ruling coalition in the presidential elections that took place on 27/12/2007. He is from the Kikuyu tribe, Kenya's largest tribe, which acts as the dominant force, politically and economically, in the country, since independence. He had entered the presidential election race twice, but he failed in 1992 and 1997, before the former President Daniel arap Moi, who remained at the head of the country, from 1978 to 2002. He is a wealthy agricultural investor. He served as Vice President of the African National Union of Kenya, the ruling party since independence in 1963. He won the presidential election of 2002.

2 - Raila Odinga, from the Luo tribe (the third most important tribe in Kenya). He was a parliament member representing Angata area (Nairobi) 1992, which includes one of the largest slums in Africa. During his long career he intensified his political activities and gained many alliances. He is a university professor and industrial investor, known for his skills and wisdom in electoral alliances.

Odinga fought for the presidential race for the first time in 1997, but he failed. He ran for the elections in 2007 on behalf of the opposition Party, the "Orange Democratic Movement," facing Mwai Kibaki.

3- Kenyatta: He is born in 1961, and he was deputy prime minister since 2008. He is the son of the politician well known of his loyalty to Britain, Jomo Kenyatta, the first president of Kenya, from 1964 to 1978. He was the greatest supporter to Kibaki in the 2007 elections. After the elections, he had a great role in the violent events that followed the elections against the group of Odinga and Ruto. He is accused of amassing the Mungiki gang-which is a criminal gang coming from the tribe of Kikuyu, which is the greatest Kenyan tribe that is led by Kenyatta- to carry revenge actions against the tribes of Kalenjin and Luo which support Odinga and Ruto.

4- Ruto: He was born in 1966, in village of Aambu, district of Uasin Gishu. He was known of his ambition to become a president one day. This obsession made him fluctuate in his stances following the change of power centers. He was of the supporters of Odinga in 2007 elections; and he led part of his tribe, Kalenjin, in attacks against the tribe of Kikuyu and the party of National Unity that follows it, which is the tribe of Kibaki and Kenyatta....He hoped Odinga would share with him the authority, such as Odinga becomes the president and he becomes the prime minister. However, the compromise solution was finalized between Odinga and Kibaki (Kibaki became the president, and Odinga is the prime minister), which made Ruto accept to become agricultural minister, but not what he was hoping to be.

5- Putting these specifications of Ruto in the mind of Kibaki who is known to most politicians like the pitcher plant that traps those who get close to it, Kibaki planned to take Ruto to his side... and it seems that a deal has been already concluded between them:

Kibaki would support Ruto to nominate for presidency of Kenya together with Kenyatta against Odinga to bring him down. Then Ruto and Kenyatta would share the authority. Whoever of them wins presidency he would take the other as prime minister; a matter which is suitable for the ambition of Ruto in presidency?

As regarding Kibaki, he is aiming to take Kalenjin in his side, which is the tribe of Ruto, because it is an important tribe; and building cooperation between this tribe and Kikuyu tribe after the previous bitter enmity between them. This would guarantee victory for Kenyatta and Ruto as expected by Kibaki.

6- Ruto was convinced by this because it agrees with his ambition to be president or prime minister! This was the first step of the friendship between Kibaki and Ruto, so in the middle of March 2010 it was an amazing show of craven obedience as Agriculture Minister William Ruto shook President Kibaki's hand at the Eldoret ASK showground.

That handshake, the genuine camaraderie punctuated by the ride in the Commander-in-Chief's ceremonial Land Rover during the opening of the North Rift region's premier event!

7- Matters have been complicated between Odinga and Ruto, particularly after that; so he transferred him on April 2010 from ministry of agriculture to Higher Education ministry; and he then pressurized him to resign. Ruto returned to practise his normal role as Member of Parliament in August 2010. It can be said that since that date at least, he started to coordinate with Kenyatta against Odinga.

Ruto is now the one who coordinates his presidency campaign with the presidential campaign of Ruto against Odinga to share the authority (between them) after the elections as it appears from their activities. But It is clear from Britain's activities that Britain wants Kenyatta to be president of Kenya after Kibaki. It is expected that coordination with Ruto is not other than a political bluff to win his tribe (Kalenjin), following the English way of deception.

• From what mentioned above it is clear the answer of the first part of the question about the change in Rutos stance.
B) Re the answer of the second part of the question it is necessary to revise what happened from the 2007 election:

1- Kenya has witnessed significant violence, since the last presidential election that took place in late 2007, that killed about 1500 and displaced nearly 250,000, before Kibaki and Odinga reached an accord to keep Kibaki in the Presidential position, despite accusations against him regarding election fraud and to appoint Odinga as prime minister.

With all of these crimes, the International Criminal Court only moved effectively after the press conference held by Kofi Annan in Nairobi in March 2010. Kofi Annan indicated that the International Criminal Court is expected to begin the investigation about the crimes which took place after the elections. Kofi Annan, the former Secretary General of the United Nations had an effective contribution in the power-sharing agreement which was reached between Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga, ending weeks of bloody clashes between the supporters of both parties, after the previous general election.

After that, the government of Kenya and the International Criminal Court 6/9/2010 signed an agreement allowing the Tribunal to open an office in Kenya, as a prelude to the investigations in the acts of violence that occurred in Kenya in 2008, nearly three years after the occurrence of such crimes. This agreement came after the visit of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir to Nairobi at the invitation of Kibaki to attend the ceremony of the ratification of the new Constitution of Kenya, which was adopted in August 2010, after a referendum. The International Tribunal considered that visit as a challenge to it and provocation from Kibaki, who hosted al-Bashir even though he is accused by the International Criminal Court for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in the Darfur region.

2- On 15/12/2010, the prosecutors at the International Criminal Court charged six people: the former Education Minister William Ruto, the Minister of Industry Henry Kyprono Kosgei, the former police chief Mohammed Hussein Ali, Information Officer Joshua Arap Sang, the Secretary-General of the Council of Ministers Francis Muthaura, and Kenyatta Deputy Prime Minister, on counts of murder, deportation and persecution, that occurred after the previous election.

Then on 23/1/2002, the Court ordered four senior Kenyan figures, to appear before it to face charges of crimes against humanity, in violence that broke out after the previous elections, where the court said that there is sufficient evidence for their trial. The four were: two possible candidates for the presidency Kenyatta, the Deputy Prime Minister, and Minister of Finance and the son of the first President of Kenya, William Ruto, a former education minister who is backed by millions of voters of the Kalingen tribe, thirdly, the broadcaster of Radio Kenya, Joshua Arap Sang, and fourthly, the President of the Union of the government employees, Francis Muthaura. But there was not sufficient evidence to go to trial against Henry Kosgei, who was the minister for industrialization and a senior member of the opposition party lead by Raila Odinga, and the former police chief, Major General Hussein Ali, as declared by the head of the International Criminal Court, Ekaterina Trendavelova.

3 - As for the impact of these charges; the stances were as follows:

A - President Mwai Kibaki said in a statement that he "cannot be accused as long as the trial court did not recognize the charges against them." He added that "the government will remain cautious and will respect the rights and the dignity of its citizens," calling the Kenyans to "stay calm."

B - Obama urged Kenya to cooperate with the court by saying: "all Kenyan leaders and the people that they serve must cooperate fully with the ICC investigation, and focus on the application of the reform agenda and the future of the nation."

C - The head of the judges stated that the accused is innocent until proven guilty.

D - The two main defendants said that they will enter the election regardless of the court's decision, and that its not permissible for current President Kibaki to run for a third term, but the Prime Minister Odinga may run for election. Note also that the Supreme Court in Kenya has announced on 13.1.2012 that the time for the next presidential election is postponed "in principle" from Aug 2012 until Mar 2013.

It is worth mentioning that the Kenyatta, the political leader of the largest tribes, the Kikuyu of Kenya, is accused of mobilizing the Mungiki gang - a criminal gang of the tribe - to carry out reprisal crimes against the tribes of Kalingen and Luo, the backers of Odinga.

Ruto who was previously one of the Odinga's allies, accused in the violence, he ordered attacks on Kikuyu supporters in the Party of National Unity of the Kikuyu tribe.

4 -In the light of the above the answer of the second part of the question is as follows:

A - The international tribunal is of European origin and motivation. It was procrastinating to intervene because the Kibaki group had a significant role in the violence. Kenyatta is accused of mobilizing the Mungiki gang - a criminal gang from the Kikuyu tribe, the largest tribe of Kenya, led by Kenyatta - to carry out reprisals against Kalingen and Luo tribes, who are backers of Odinga, whilst the Roto, who was previously Odinga's ally, had arranged the other attacks against the supporters of the Kikuyu and its National Unity Party (PRM). 

However, the biggest role in the violence was from Kenyatta and the supporters of Kibaki. So the Court was dragging its feet so as not to condemn Kibaki and Kenyatta, who are pro-European and pro-British.

B - The United States wants the tribunal, but only after ensuring that it will not come to crucial decisions against Odinga and his faction. She has achieved what she wanted after two events, that were organized by two of her men:

Firstly, Kofi Annan, who is a pro-American, held a press conference in March 2010 and said that the Court will begin its work soon, embarrassing the prosecutor and the court. Then the court made a decision to direct its work after the 6/9/2010 agreement with Kenya.

Secondly, America's agent Bashir visited Kenya and was hosted by Kibaki, the President of the Republic, at a time when Bashir is wanted by the International Tribunal, which made the visit seem like a challenge to the court.

America has been successful in both cases, Annan's statement expedite the start of the court, and Bashir's visit has "somewhat" raised the court against Kibaki and his faction. But the result of the court decisions canceled the fear of America that the court will strongly stand next to Kibaki and Kenyatta. The decisions were semi-balanced and almost prevail in favoring Odinga. Two of the four that the court ordered to appear before the court are from the heavy weights: Kenyatta from the group of Kibaki, and Ruto who was previously from the group of Raila Odinga until the year 2010 when Kibaki succeeded in taking him to his side in order that he can get Rotu tribe "Kalingin" to his side as we detailed in the answer of the first part of the question. Because Kibaki cannot be nominated for a third term, the British are working to appoint Kenyatta in the Presidency, for he is the son of their former agent Kenyatta Senior. If the indictments affected the nomination of Kenyatta and Ruto then this would be in favor of Odinga ... The central issue is to halt the nomination of Kenyatta, because even if Ruto was nominated, his position fluctuates, for his main ambition is to get a post. Therefore, if he was promised of a post, then the problem between him and Odinga would not be difficult.

Therefore, the court's decisions have created a nuisance for Kibaki, and created joy for Obama and Odinga, and it was in this context, that the statements of Kibaki and Obama appeared which referred to previously.
However, it is expected that the court would continue with its accusation and investigation, then procrastinate and delay in the provisions... Therefore, most likely the candidates will continue in their nomination, and that is clear from their statements and the statement of the President of the Court as well as Kibaki's statement, and this is only if nothing new appears on the political scene, for new developments impose new realities...

But in any case, America has succeeded in making the Court's decisions affect the Kibaki group more than Raila Odinga group, or at least affecting them equally, even though the pro-European Court's decisions would have been expected to be in favor of Kibaki's group against Odinga group explicitly.

20 Rabi' II 1433

The above is a draft translation from Arabic.

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