There was shock, consternation and dis-belief when ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo announced his list of six suspects in the post-election violence. To some, it was relief in the belief that this was a route to the long elusive justice.
To most in the political class, champagne bottles were popped in the mistaken but self satisfied deja vu that Ocampo had "cleared" their political paths to power by eliminating their political adversaries.
Newspaper and television analysis since the December 15 announcement have all been talking about the political implications for Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto in the 2012 elections.
Personally, I feel vindicated. Long before Ocampo's announcement, I have written that the ICC process is a conspiracy between some Western powers and their local proteges to determine the Kenyan political dynamic in 2012.
It is no wonder that the polling firm, Infotrack Harris, deemed it fit to ask the question "Would you vote for any of the six in 2012?" and the response was overwhelmingly in the negative.
Whilst 2012 is what Ocampo had in mind, he wins my accolades for mastering the Kenyan political dynamics with unprecedented speed. The prosecutor took advantage of four major realities in our national psyche.
Firstly, there was an insatiable quest for justice by the victims of post-election violence. Given that the master-minds of the violence in 1992 and 1997 went unpunished, Kenyans were baying for blood. More so, because the likes of James Orengo have frustrated the IDP resettlement, anger among victims has hit a crescendo. Taking cognizance of this quest for justice by the victims, Ocampo took advantage to create a list which was a figment of his imagination.
After all, Kenyans are so passionate about justice that they would accept any list. What a fertile ground for Ocampo and his local and international allies to achieve their 2012 objectives while seeming to satiate this thirst for justice!
Secondly, Ocampo knew that since the grand coalition came to power, Kenyans are obsessed with 50/50 sharing. It is a political thin line you have to walk. It may be that Kofi Annan's precious advice came in handy here. All decisions have to be evaluated to ensure there is apparent political balance. If you name three from PNU, name an equal number from ODM. If you name a party leader here, you have to name a party leader there.
Care must be taken to also ensure that you name at least a person with a direct line to either principal. As long you adhere to this Nusu-Nusu ideology, beguiled Kenyans will support you all the way, Ocampo thought. This will give you a blank cheque to come up with a list from the figment of your imagination and ensure that the grand 2012 conspiracy is right on track.
Thirdly, Ocampo appeared to have realised that Kenyans are generally fatigued by the political class. Due to this fatigue, he thought, it didn't matter to them whether you hang Jesus or Barnabas. Our collective will against the politicians was so tempting for Ocampo that he thought as long as there are politicians on the list, Kenyans will move on and say it is good for Kenya.
Finally, Ocampo appeared to have taken a quick study on the anthropology of Kenyans and realised that we do not overburden ourselves with too much detail. That is why he had the guts to issue a raft of conditions for the suspects to adhere to or else.. ...Some of those conditions border on the absurd, like barring suspects from making contacts with each other, never mind that three of the so-called suspects sit in the Cabinet!
What we gullible Kenyans will not do is to question who gives a mere prosecutor powers to dictate bail conditions. Ocampo is used to Kenyans swallowing hook, line and sinker, any trash he throws our way. Talk of impunity!
Apart from the Kenya case, it disturbs me a lot that Ocampo is dealing with four other "situations" — in Uganda, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, in the Central African Republic.
All situations from outside Africa are referred to Special Tribunals by the United Nations. The ICC is therefore slowly becoming the ACC-The African Colonial Court
I believe Ocampo will have an uphill task convincing the pre-trial judges, not just Judge Hans-Peter Kaul who had ruled that the Kenyan case is below the threshold of admissibility to the ICC but also the other two judges who had warned that they will be very strict on the evidence quality. There are only two chances that Ocampo will get an indictment — slim and none. None appears like it will be out of town.
That will not be a good way for Ocampo to retire when his contract expires in June, 2011.
The author is the spokesman of the PNU. The views expressed here are his own.