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Thursday, March 31, 2011

No asylum for Gaddafi, says Museveni

M7 has denied claims that Gaddafi would get sanctuary in Uganda.
President Museveni last night described as “utter rubbish” reports that Uganda had secretly offered asylum to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

The story has been gaining currency in international media outlets, and Al Jazeera TV channel yesterday run news of the alleged refuge. “That is a totally unfounded rumour, it is utter rubbish,” said Grace Akello, the President's Principal Private Secretary, quoting Mr Museveni, after 
Presidential Press Secretary Tamale Mirundi—cited as the source of the disputed story—separately refuted the report, saying he advised a reporter who contacted him by telephone to approach Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa. “That story is Western propaganda and a hoax. I cannot speak on Uganda’s foreign policy matters and that is why I referred the journalist to the responsible ministry,” he said.

To say that Mr Museveni, who has openly opposed military attacks on Libya, has now accepted to host Gaddafi, if the latter chose to flee, would mean the President considers his Libyan counterpart a defeated man, said Mr Tamale. “Some of these Western media outlets have their own motives. How can you offer to bury someone on your plot when that person is not yet dead?” State House expressed these sentiments as it emerged that resurgent pro-Gaddafi forces had re-captured from rebels the strategic Ras Lanuf, one of key towns to the east of the country, just days after the government forces hastily retreated when allied forces bombed them.

About a fortnight ago, President Museveni wrote an article in the local press, saying the decision by France, the UK and the US to launch airstrikes on Col. Gaddafi’s forces lacked “impeachable logic” and was reminiscent of “double standards”. While criticising Col. Gaddafi for a number of personal errors of judgment, Mr Museveni maintained that Libya’s problems should be resolved through Africa-pioneered dialogue. These differences of opinion led the African Union’s High-Level Ad hoc Committee, of which Uganda is a member, to boycott Tuesday’s summit the West organised in London to chart a future for Libya without Gaddafi. He has ruled for 42 years.

President M7's deputy PPS Kintu Nyago last evening seized on resolutions of the London summit to liken it to the 1884-5 conference in Berlin, Germany, where imperialist forces partitioned Africa as colonial take-away. Mr Nyago told this newspaper in a separate interview that Uganda, like AU, is interested in immediate cessation of hostilities in Libya but words spoken by the West supporting regime change are unwelcome. “The future of Libya should be for Libyans to decide. Col. Gaddafi is a Libyan. There is no way you can say he can’t be part of discussions on the future of his country,” he said. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told the London conference that Col. Gaddafi has “lost legitimacy” to lead Libya, while French President Nicholas Sarkozy, an anti-Gaddafi lobbyist, said he was willing to discuss with partners the possibility of supplying weapons to the rebels.

Col. Gaddafi has not requested for asylum in Uganda, a top Ministry of Foreign Affairs official said, suggesting if he did, the Ministry of Internal Affairs would have to vet it and decide whether or not to provide him sanctuary. The Libyan leader’s nexus with Kampala spans decades and has over the years shifted from warmth to ice-cold. He came to late President Idi Amin’s rescue when the Tanzanian army and Ugandan exiles struck and Libya was the first country to host him when he fled in April 1979. In the early 80's, Col. Gaddafi turned to drop weapons to buoy Mr Museveni’s NRA guerrilla outfit in Luweero District while simultaneously arming Moses Ali’s then West Nile-based Uganda National Rescue Front (UNRF) II fighters.

Uhuru's comments in Murang'a completely unacceptable

A Press Statement from the ‘KikuyusforChange’ Initiative
Issued in Nairobi on Wednesday 30th March 2011 at 1100 hrs


On Sunday 27th March 2011 the Deputy Prime Minister & Minister of Finance of Kenya, Hon. Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta, made the following statement before he was enthroned a Kikuyu Elder & ‘King’ of the Agikuyu:

We will not allow ourselves to be killed just because we do not follow our leaders. Those who fail to do this, we will follow them to their homes and expose them as the ones who are betraying us. We will say ‘See, this person is the one who is failing to work with us’.

We will not go into the issues of making him elder or King.

However, as a group that comprises members of the Agikuyu community we find the statements he made completely irresponsible, especially coming from a leader who also serves as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance. They are not only dangerous, but they are also intra-ethnically and inter-ethnically divisive as well as detrimental to the national cohesiveness most of us are working so hard for, following the 2007 PEV. 

In our opinion these comments are also a direct threat to internal and national democracy as they purport to determine, without input from elsewhere, what the stand of Kenya’s largest community is, as regards issues such as the ICC or post-2012 political leadership. 

We want to inform the Deputy Prime Minister that we cannot stand aside and watch him completely ignore the benefits of the new constitution as regards sovereignty of the people, be they Kikuyus or members of other communities. We hereby remind him that we, the Kenyan people, will decide who will lead us.

In addition, we find the comment that ‘we died because of not following our leaders’ callous, false and insensitive, especially to the thousands of mainly Kenyan Kikuyus who even now find themselves out of home & hearth, as IDPs, in various parts of the country. The Deputy Prime Minister seems to have forgotten that these Kikuyus are actually in their present predicament because they did exactly what he is suggesting: voted for our leaders in 2007, literally to a man! 

We want to remind the deputy prime minister that Agikuyus still live in camps as IDPs, and they have received neither justice nor compensation, 3 years on. This is after they watched their loved ones burnt to death in a church, or hacked and/or shot dead with arrows, or raped, or forcefully moved out of their houses and land and their hard-earned property taken over. We also want to remind the Deputy Prime Minister that despite his new found friendship with Hon Ruto, these victims of the 2007 post-election atrocities, and even those of the 1992 & 1997 atrocities, have still been unable to go back home. We are being forced to buy them land elsewhere, against new resistance from other communities.

We also want to remind the Deputy Prime Minister that the Agikuyu have not been charged at the Hague. On the 8th of April 2012 he will be going to the Hague to represent himself, in his own capacity. He will not be going to represent the Agikuyu as Kikuyu King or Elder. This means that his defence there, and even his defence here (which now seems to be focused on fighting the Prime Minister), are his personal wars: they are not between the Agikuyu and Ocampo, and certainly not between the Agikuyu and Raila.

Hon Uhuru Kenyatta must realize that, unlike him, most Kikuyus are more interested in preventing a re-occurrence of election-related violence next year, getting justice for the victims of the last election-related violence incidences, and getting them compensated and resettled. We know that he has the capacity, by himself, to take care of himself as regards political wars with his rivals, or the cases against him at the ICC. 

We also make this statement because we have deliberately and consistently taken a stand against the ethnicization of the ICC process, and we take the comments he made as a direct threat to us. We believe they are targeted to us because we have publicly stated that the ICC is not about Kikuyus, but about 6 individuals-a position that goes against his message to Kikuyus. We repeat, again, that 6 individuals are going to answer to charges at the Hague: whilst others will be tried locally, also in their own personal capacity. This is not about Kikuyus, Kalenjins, Merus, Somalis, Kisii’s, Luos, etc.

We conclude by calling out to all our independent-minded political leaders in Central Province. Leaders like Hon. Muite, Hon. Karua, Hon. Kenneth: new aspiring leadership in every county: to take heart. We ask them not to accept to be intimidated or threatened, or forced to kow-tow to a monolithic, undemocratic brand of politics. 

As this generation of Kenyan voters we ask anyone who wants to lead us not to be forced to follow a tribal political idealogy out of fear. Millions of Kenyans are independent enough: what we are looking for is independent leadership that will rally us behind them through ideas and policy: not through threats or coercion. That time has passed; we have learnt our lessons well, and we will vote only for those leaders who have policies that will do the greatest good, to the greatest number of Kenyans.

Signed 

NGUNJIRI WAMBUGU

Convenor, KikuyusforChange

Executive Director, Change Associates 

(0724958331)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Roosay’s attack on Intellectual Lightweight was a diversionary tactic

Last Friday, First Lady Lucy Kibaki read the Riot Act to Vice President Kalonzo for, among other things, snitching on her husband to the Amreicans, and thereby reigniting the debate on the Second Lady, aka The Permanent Mistress, Ms. Mary Wambui Kibaki.

In a seemingly unrelated development, on Thursday the Police netted heroine with a street value of Sh500m after it was sneaked into the country via an illegal landing bay at Shanzu, Mombasa. The drug haul—196 kilograms packed in 2kg sachets sealed in polythene—was camouflaged as dog food under the brand name: "Science Plan: Veterinary formulated Canine Senior for older dogs. New improved taste” and was being transported in two vehicles at Shanzu, Mombasa, when police struck at around 7pm on Thursday. Three Kenyans, two Iranians and a Pakistani were arrested in the operation, and Police recovered two pistols and more than 30 rounds of ammunitions from the two vehicles, a Nissan saloon car and a Toyota Rav4.

Now, an interesting idea is gaining currency in social networking sites; an idea that is leading Siasa Duni to believe that Lucy’s mad rant was nothing more than a diversionary tactic, steeped in the long-honed tradition of Kenyan politicos, and perfected by Moi: it is being alleged that the drug haul, the second biggest in Kenya’s history, was brought in by none other than the Second Lady, in association with Peter Kenneth (who is not directly implicated, apparently), and were headed to a Livondo-owned warehouse.

Mary Wambui Kibaki, the president's second / estranged wife.
Of course, our first reaction was, “PK? Really!? The squeaky clean MP who would be Governor?”, but a close examination of him leaves more questions than answers on his character. It is being alleged that Peter Kenneth and Mary Wambui Kibaki have been in the drug game for years. The drugs, brought in by the Second Lady, were being tracked by US Intelligence and the Kenyan Police had been laying in ambush for them for two weeks. It is common knowledge that Mary Wambui Kibaki is a good friend of Ali Punjani, one of the drug lords mentioned by Saitoti in Parliament, alongside Gidion Mbuvi, William Kabogo, Hassan Joho and Harun Mwau. Mary Wambui Kibaki also features prominently in the US Drug Dossier as a close associate of Abubakar Joho, brother to Hassan Joho.

As if that were not enough, Mary Wambui Kibaki is also a key player and features prominently in the Shs. 8 billion ($96.3) Gold Smuggling syndicate, alongside Kamlesh Paul Pattni, Irshan Sumra and Julius Kuria Ndegwa, a senior policeman. She is also linked to the infamous raids on Standard Media Group in 2006 with the help of her son-in-law Artur Margaryan and his brother Artur Sargasyan. 

The president's illegitimate daughter gets intimate with Atur.

So in light of all this, we pose a few questions: As a member of Kibaki’s inner circle, and no doubt privy to Kibaki’s intelligence briefings, did Lucy Kibaki know about her co-wife’s drug stash being impounded by Police the previous evening? If so, is she now more accommodating of her co-wife, diverting public attention to give the ‘bad news’ a soft landing before it hit the press the next day? Why does Mary Wambui Kibaki’s name repeatedly appear in illicit activities? Is Kibaki aware of the illegal activities his Permanent Mistress has been carrying out? Are these illegal activities, and by extensions Kibaki’s apparent refusal to do anything about them, the reason Lucy dragged him unwillingly to a press conference to disassociate himself and deny his second wife and his second family in very public manner?

Whatever the case, it is very clear that there’s more going on than meets the eye, and Lucy Kibaki is firmly in the know about her co-wife and her illicit activities. It is also very clear that in her illegal activities, Mary Wambui Kibaki is confidently enjoying presidential protection, as evidenced by the arrogance with which she carries herself and her activities.

Winnie Wangui Mwai and Atur Magaryan in happier times.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Lucy slams Kalonzo over his loud views on the first (and second) family

Madam Roosay validates Wikileaks cables and makes Intellectual Lightweight pay the day's cost...
 First Lady Lucy Kibaki on Friday asked Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka to keep off her family. Mrs Kibaki was annoyed by claims attributed to Mr Musyoka in US embassy cables released by WikiLeaks.
He becomes the second Vice President in Mr Kibaki’s reign to incur the First Lady’s wrath. Mr Musyoka is said to have described the President as sickly and given accounts of events at State House that the First Lady deemed were malicious. The first was former Vice-President Moody Awori in 2004 when she told him off for referring to her as the “second lady”.
In a statement to media houses, Mrs Kibaki described the comments attributed to the VP in the leaked diplomatic cables as “barefaced falsehood, innuendos, unkind and against African values”. She accused the VP of allowing his “selfish interests” to drive him to make unsavoury remarks aimed at tainting the integrity of President Kibaki and urged Kenyans to avoid such talk. “I urge Kenyans to engage in constructive dialogue that will take our country to the next level rather than smear other people’s reputation for their selfish interests,” she said.
The First Lady questioned the VP’s audacity to discuss her residence and President Kibaki’s family with US ambassadors William Bellamy and Michael Ranneberger in cables that were sent to Washington between March 2006 and November 2007. At the time, Mr Musyoka was a member of ODM Kenya, an opposition party comprising Prime Minister Raila Odinga, deputy PM Musalia Mudavadi and suspended Higher Education Minister William Ruto, among others. “In some of these cables, Kalonzo Musyoka is reported to have discussed residential matters of the First Family and made innuendos regarding the composition of the same family,” she observes.
She opened the statement by asserting that she resides at State House.
“In the said leaks, Kalonzo Musyoka is said to have alleged that I do not reside at State House, adding that I moved to State House when I learnt there were night meetings taking place there,” she said. Mrs Kibaki stated that Kenyans were aware that she was a resident of State House from where she has carried out her charitable work on HIV/Aids and her role as the President’s wife. “I wish to inform Kenyans that this is barefaced falsehood. As all Kenyans are aware, I have been resident at State House where I have conducted my duties and responsibilities as the spouse of the President. It is also from State House that I have continued to undertake my charitable activities within the framework of the Organization of African First Ladies Against HIV/Aids,” she said. She added: “I also wish to inform Kenyans that no night meetings were taking place in State House. The allegation by Kalonzo Musyoka that I moved to State House to check on night meetings was false and conceived in bad faith.”
In the cable that was dispatched by Mr Bellamy in March 2006, Mr Musyoka was quoted as saying that Mrs Kibaki was residing at the affluent Muthaiga. “According to Musyoka (and many other), First Lady Lucy does not reside at State House with the President but stays at their residence in Nairobi’s Muthaiga suburb. Upon learning that secret meetings with political figures could be taking place in State House, Lucy reasoned that other secret liaisons (with unofficial second wife) could be transpiring as well. She went to State House, where she stayed for two days to make her presence felt,” the VP is further quoted as saying. On Friday, Mrs Kibaki said that while State House was the official residence of the President’s family, any member had the right to chose to put up at a private residence.
The First Lady, for the second time officially declared that members of the First Family were well known.
“I wish to clarify that the composition of the First Family is in the public domain and its integrity and moral authority is beyond reproach. Any insinuations to the contrary are unfounded and false. As Kenyans are aware, however, it is a well known fact that there are people who go around masquerading to belong to the families of prominent people in public life. Members of the public should distinguish between genuine family members and imposters,” she said.
“I further take great exception to Mr Kalonzo Musyoka’s reported allegations that President Kibaki slept on his job due to drugs administered on him. As Kenyans are fully aware, at no time has President Kibaki slept on his job. Indeed, claims to this effect were never substantiated in the Wikileaks,” she said.The First Lady was more upset by claims that President Kibaki ‘slept on the job’ due to the treatment that he was undergoing. She pointed to the improved economic growth from 2 per cent in 2002 to 5.8 per cent in 2006 and 7 per cent in 2008.
She went on: “Kenyans will remember that it is at this time that the economy begun to record unprecedented levels of growth. Indeed, the economy grew by 5.8 per cent in 2006 when the cables were being wired and rose to 7 per cent compared to 1 per cent in 2002, when the President took office. Obviously, this is an indicator of a country under sound management in every respect and does not suggest a chief executive asleep on his job.”
Mr Musyoka is alleged to have told Mr Bellamy in March 2006 thus: “I don’t know if it’s the drugs that they’re giving him (Kibaki), but he’s sleeping on the job.”
Mrs Kibaki said it was cruel of the VP to discuss the President’s health in manner that showed he was deriving pleasure from it. “In any case, it is clearly unkind and contrary to African, indeed human, values to discuss other people’s health and to appear to derive fiendish delight from their poor health,” she said.
She expressed surprise at revelations that Mr Musyoka had urged then US President George W. Bush to prevail over President Kibaki not to contest the 2007 elections to clear the way for him. “Like other Kenyans, I was particularly dismayed to read further revelations that Mr Kalonzo appealed to the US to prevail on President Kibaki not to run for another term in order to pave way for Kalonzo to ascend to leadership,” she said.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Government of Uganda to freeze Libyan assets

Kampala - The government of the Republic of Uganda will impose a freeze on Libyan assets in Uganda, but it opposes the West’s military onslaught on the North African country.

Presenting a statement in Parliament on Thursday, International Cooperation Minister Okello Oryem said the government will implement the UN-initiated sanctions that include enforcing a travel ban on Col. Muammar Gaddafi. “All the assets which benefit the Libyan government here in Uganda will be frozen in accordance with the UN resolution,” he said. “We have just one month to enforce the sanctions from the date they were issued (February 26). We have written to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon asking for guidelines on how to implement the sanctions.” The minister also said the Sanctions Committee chaired by Portugal met in New York yesterday for its first formal meeting to consider and approve the draft guidelines.

Allaying fears that some Ugandans employed by a string of Libyan-owned companies could be affected in the process, Mr Oryem said businesses will run normally but the money will be channeled to a special account until the sanctions are lifted. The Libyan government owns a string of multi-billion shilling companies in Uganda. They include Uganda Telecom Limited (UTL), National Housing Construction Company, Tropical Bank, Laico Lake Victoria Hotel, Tamoil East Africa and OilLibya. Globally, Libya’s assets are registered under the Libya Arab Africa Investment Co (Laaico), a $5 billion undertaking under Libya Oil Holdings, Libya African Investment Portfolio and Libyan Foreign Investment Company (Lafico).

Gaddafi and Queen Best are known to enjoy a special, mysterious relationship.
But Mr Oryem puts Libya investments in Uganda at about $375m (UShs862.5 billion), spread over various sectors of the economy. Libya has also demonstrated generosity towards Uganda by way of funding several projects, most prominent among are the construction of the Gaddafi National Mosque and the renovation of Toro Royal Palace. He is believed to enjoy a very close relationship with Queen Best Kemigisha, the Queen Mother of Toro.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Kagame supports bombing Libya

Rwandan President Paul Kagame has endorsed the ongoing UN-authorised bombing raids on Libya, arguing the situation in the North African country had degenerated “beyond” what the African Union could handle.

Mr. Kagame was in London on Monday to deliver a keynote address at The Times CEO Summit Africa, and said Rwanda supports the no-fly zone that the UN Security Council imposed on Libya last week. “Rwanda’s position is Africa Union’s position. Africa Union position was that there was need to understand what was going on in Libya and based on that, then action taken be supported,” he said. “But what was happening on the ground was beyond what was Africa’s position.”

President Kagame added: “That is how the UN Security Council, including African countries that sit on it, decided.” Ten of the 15 members of the Security Council, including South Africa, voted in favour of the resolution co-sponsored by the UK, France and Qatar while five nations, among them veto-power wielding China and Russia, abstained. The Arab League to which Libya belongs made the first calls for a no-fly zone after it emerged Col. Muammar Gaddafi’s forces were bombing civilians indiscriminately.

The UK and France, under American central command, began bombarding and disabling Libyan air defence systems. Col. Gaddafi’s 42-year rule has been swaying since last month, after peaceful demonstrators-turned-rebels, took control of significant parts of the oil-rich Libya, demanding their President step down. Col. Gaddafi allegedly responded with brute force, firing missile and heavy artillery, and succeeding in pushing back the advancing rebels. He vowed on the eve of the ongoing blitz, to show “no mercy” in home-to-home military operations in Benghazi, the de-facto capital of the insurgents, but columns of battle tanks his troops powered to launch assault on the rebels were by the weekend charred metal crafts, demolished by superior fire-power of allied forces.

Mr Kagame’s views sharply contrast with that of Ugandan President Museveni, who has chosen to criticise UN and blanket security over Libya. Mr Museveni, who prefers if Africans tackled the Gaddafi situation, was one of four Presidents from the continent, charged by African Union to do fact-finding in Tripoli and explore ways of negotiated end to the unrest. Col. Gaddafi had reportedly agreed to meet the AU High Level Ad-hoc Committee, which was on Saturday turned away from the Libyan airspace now firmly under control of the international community.

Mr Museveni wrote a missive to media outlets on Sunday, saying military action against Gaddafi’s regime lacked “impeachable logic”, showed the West’s “double standards” and could trigger an arms race.
“I am quite sure that many countries that are able will scale up their military research and in a few decades we may have a more armed world. This weapons science is not magic,” he wrote.
The disparate views of Mr Museveni and Mr Kagame show how sensitive and divisive tackling Gaddafi’s reported transgressions against his citizens would be for his African peers.

Tuju & Karua blocked joint statement between Kibaki and Raila calling for an end to PEV - Wikileaks

President Mwai Kibaki's inner circle had stalled the power sharing talks in early 2008, according to the latest US diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks. The cables claim that in meetings held between the then American Under Secretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer and the President, his allies blocked an initial joint statement between the President and Orange Democratic Party leader Raila Odinga to call for an end to violence.

The cables sent to Washington by American Ambassador Michael Ranneberger, claim that although "President Kibaki was unopposed to it Karua (Martha) and (Raphael) Tuju nixed the idea arguing that it would give the appearance of a 'co-presidency.' Ms Frazer asked that Kibaki and Raila issue separate statements condemning violence, acknowledging there were real problems with the elections, and agreeing to dialogue," says the cable. This proposal for separate press conferences came after the joint one was opposed by the President's handlers.

Ms Frazer noted that the statements "would help heal and normalise the country 'the most immediate need' and are exclusive of the issue of how the parties will actually come to a political arrangement on governance."

However the cable reports that President Kibaki expressed doubt that Mr Odinga truly wanted peace and said he was a man who spoke in "two languages" - something he saw as a significant obstacle to dialogue. "These statements of cessation of violence never took place and the violence continued way to the end of the month."

The first face-to-face meeting of the two political rivals came two weeks later on January 24.

Matters were complicated further when President Kibaki announced a partial Cabinet even as pressure was building for him to meet Mr Odinga to discuss the possibility of a government of national unity. In a meeting held on January 7, President Kibaki argued that he was not pre-empting talks and that he only announced the partial Cabinet to keep the government running.  That it was only "logical" to do so, he said. In the end, President Kibaki said that he was open to changing Cabinet positions if this was decided during talks with ODM, along with having the talks deal with a broader range of issues such as electoral and institutional reform, the cables claim.

After intense negotiations with President Kibaki and his team, it was agreed that he would issue a statement explaining why he appointed a cabinet when he did, clarifying that the cabinet was subject to change pending outcome of talks with ODM, and noting that nothing would be ruled out in these discussions.

It is at this time that the President's inner circle once again blocked a second statement that could have healed political wounds. "Francis Muthaura, Secretary to the Cabinet, and the newly appointed Foreign Minister Moses Wetangula fought the idea of issuing a public statement clarifying the Cabinet appointments, but Kibaki was decisive in wanting it done; the statement was issued the following day," notes the cable.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Museveni criticises Gaddafi’s rule

Gaddafi and M7 during happier times.
President Museveni has written an article analysing his (former) ally Muammar Gaddafi’s rule. The President tells of what Gaddafi’s has done right and wrong during his 42-year rule as well as his take on the unrest in Libya. Siasa Duni brings you the abridged version...

By the time Muammar Gaddaffi came to power in 1969, I was a third year university student at Dar-es-Salaam. We welcomed him because he was in the tradition of Col. Gamal Abdul Nasser of Egypt who had a nationalist and pan-Arabist position.

Soon, however, problems cropped up with Col. Gaddafi as far as Uganda and Black Africa were concerned:

1.Idi Amin came to power with the support of Britain and Israel because they thought he was uneducated enough to be used by them. Amin, however, turned against his sponsors when they refused to sell him guns to fight Tanzania. Unfortunately, Col. Muammar Gaddafi, without getting enough information about Uganda, jumped in to support Idi Amin. This was because Amin was a ‘Moslem’ and Uganda was a ‘Moslem country’ where Moslems were being ‘oppressed’ by Christians. Amin killed a lot of people extra-judicially and Gaddafi was identified with these mistakes. In 1972 and 1979, Gaddafi sent Libyan troops to defend Idi Amin when we attacked him. I remember a Libyan Tupolev 22 bomber trying to bomb us in Mbarara in 1979. The bomb ended up in Nyarubanga because the pilots were scared. They could not come close to bomb properly. We had already shot-down many Amin MIGs using surface-to-air missiles. The Tanzanian brothers and sisters were doing much of this fighting. Many Libyan militias were captured and repatriated to Libya by Tanzania. This was a big mistake by Gaddafi and a direct aggression against the people of Uganda and East Africa.

2.The second big mistake by Gaddafi was his position vis-à-vis the African Union (AU) Continental Government “now”. Since 1999, he has been pushing this position. Black people are always polite. They, normally, do not want to offend other people. This is called: ‘obufura’ in Runyankore, mwolo in Luo – handling, especially strangers, with care and respect. It seems some of the non-African cultures do not have ‘obufura’. You can witness a person talking to a mature person as if he/she is talking to a kindergarten child. “You should do this; you should do that; etc.” We tried to politely point out to Col. Gaddafi that this was difficult in the short and medium term. We should, instead, aim at the Economic Community of Africa and, where possible, also aim at Regional Federations. Col. Gaddafi would not relent. He would not respect the rules of the AU. Something that has been covered by previous meetings would be resurrected by Gaddafi. He would ‘overrule’ a decision taken by all other African Heads of State. Some of us were forced to come out and oppose his wrong position and, working with others, we repeatedly defeated his illogical position.

3.The third mistake has been the tendency by Col. Gaddafi to interfere in the internal affairs of many African countries using the little money Libya has compared to those countries. One blatant example was his involvement with cultural leaders of Black Africa – kings, chiefs, etc. Since the political leaders of Africa had refused to back his project of an African Government, Gaddafi, incredibly, thought that he could by-pass them and work with these kings to implement his wishes. I warned Gaddafi in Addis Ababa that action would be taken against any Ugandan king that involved himself in politics because it was against our Constitution. I moved a motion in Addis Ababa to expunge from the records of the AU all references to kings (cultural leaders) who had made speeches in our forum because they had been invited there illegally by Col. Gaddafi.

4.The fourth big mistake was by most of the Arab leaders, including Gaddafi to some extent. This was in connection with the long suffering people of Southern Sudan. Many of the Arab leaders either supported or ignored the suffering of the Black people in that country. This unfairness always created tension and friction between us and the Arabs, including Gaddafi to some extent. However, I must salute H.E. Gaddafi and H.E. Hosni Mubarak for travelling to Khartoum just before the Referendum in Sudan and advised H.E. Bashir to respect the results of that exercise.

5.Sometimes Gaddafi and other Middle Eastern radicals do not distance themselves sufficiently from terrorism even when they are fighting for a just cause. Terrorism is the use of indiscriminate violence – not distinguishing between military and non-military targets. The Middle Eastern radicals, quite different from the revolutionaries of Black Africa, seem to say that any means is acceptable as long as you are fighting the enemy. That is why they hijack planes, use assassinations, plant bombs in bars, etc. Why bomb bars? People who go to bars are normally merry-makers, not politically minded people. We were together with the Arabs in the anti-colonial struggle. The Black African liberation movements, however, developed differently from the Arab ones. Where we used arms, we fought soldiers or sabotaged infrastructure but never targeted non-combatants. These indiscriminate methods tend to isolate the struggles of the Middle East and the Arab world. It would be good if the radicals in these areas could streamline their work methods in this area of using violence indiscriminately.

These five points above are some of the negative points in connection to Col. Gaddafi as far as Uganda’s patriots have been concerned over the years. These positions of Col. Gaddafi have been unfortunate and unnecessary.

Nevertheless, Gaddafi has also had many positive points objectively speaking. These positive points have been in favour of Africa, Libya and the Third World. I will deal with them point by point:

1.Col. Gaddafi has been having an independent foreign policy and, of course, also independent internal policies. I am not able to understand the position of Western countries which appear to resent independent-minded leaders and seem to prefer puppets. Puppets are not good for any country. Most of the countries that have transitioned from Third World to First World status since 1945 have had independent-minded leaders: South Korea (Park Chung-hee), Singapore (Lee Kuan Yew), China People’s Republic (Mao Tse Tung, Chou Enlai, Deng Xiaoping, Marshal Yang Shangkun, Li Peng, Jiang Zemin, Hu Jing Tao, etc), Malaysia (Dr. Mahthir Mohamad), Brazil (Lula Da Silva), Iran (the Ayatollahs), etc. Between the First World War and the Second World War, the Soviet Union transitioned into an Industrial country propelled by the dictatorial but independent-minded Joseph Stalin. In Africa we have benefited from a number of independent-minded leaders: Col. Nasser of Egypt, Mwalimu Nyerere of Tanzania, Samora Machel of Mozambique, etc. That is how Southern Africa was liberated. That is how we got rid of Idi Amin. The stopping of genocide in Rwanda and the overthrow of Mobutu, etc., were as a result of efforts of independent-minded African leaders. Muammar Gaddafi, whatever his faults, is a true nationalist. I prefer nationalists to puppets of foreign interests. Where have the puppets caused the transformation of countries? I need some assistance with information on this from those who are familiar with puppetry. Therefore, the independent-minded Gaddafi had some positive contribution to Libya, I believe, as well as Africa and the Third World. I will take one little example. At the time we were fighting the criminal dictatorships here in Uganda, we had a problem arising of a complication caused by our failure to capture enough guns at Kabamba on the 6th of February, 1981. Gaddafi gave us a small consignment of 96 rifles, 100 anti-tank mines, etc., that was very useful. He did not consult Washington or Moscow before he did this. This was good for Libya, for Africa and for the Middle East. We should also remember as part of that independent-mindedness he expelled British and American military bases from Libya, etc.

2.Before Gaddafi came to power in 1969, a barrel of oil was 40 American cents. He launched a campaign to withhold Arab oil unless the West paid more for it. I think the price went up to US$ 20 per barrel. When the Arab-Israel war of 1973 broke out, the barrel of oil went to US$ 40. I am, therefore, surprised to hear that many oil producers in the world, including the Gulf countries, do not appreciate the historical role played by Gaddafi on this issue. The huge wealth many of these oil producers are enjoying was, at least in part, due to Gaddafi’s efforts. The Western countries have continued to develop in spite of paying more for oil. It, therefore, means that the pre-Gaddafi oil situation was characterized by super exploitation in favour of the Western countries.

3.I have never taken time to investigate socio-economic conditions within Libya. When I was last there, I could see good roads even from the air. From the TV pictures, you can even see the rebels zooming up and down in pick-up vehicles on very good roads accompanied by Western journalists. Who built these good roads? Who built the oil refineries in Brega and those other places where the fighting has been taking place recently? Were these facilities built during the time of the king and his American as well as British allies or were they built by Gaddafi? In Tunisia and Egypt, some youths immolated (burnt) themselves because they had failed to get jobs. Are the Libyans without jobs also? If so, why, then, are there hundreds of thousands of foreign workers? Is Libya’s policy of providing so many jobs to Third World workers bad? Are all the children going to school in Libya? Was that the case in the past – before Gaddafi? Is the conflict in Libya economic or purely political? Possibly Libya could have transitioned more if they encouraged the private sector more. However, this is something the Libyans are better placed to judge. As it is, Libya is a middle income country with GDP standing at US$ 89.03 billion. This is about the same as the GDP of South Africa at the time Mandela took over leadership in 1994 and it about 155 times the current size of GDP of Spain.

4.Gaddafi is one of the few secular leaders in the Arab world. He does not believe in Islamic fundamentalism that is why women have been able to go to school, to join the Army, etc. This is a positive point on Gaddafi’s side.

Coming to the present crisis, therefore, we need to point out some issues:

1.The first issue is to distinguish between demonstrations and insurrections. Peaceful demonstrations should not be fired on with live bullets. Of course, even peaceful demonstrations should coordinate with the Police to ensure that they do not interfere with the rights of other citizens. When rioters are, however, attacking Police stations and Army barracks with the aim of taking power, then, they are no longer demonstrators; they are insurrectionists. They will have to be treated as such. A responsible Government would have to use reasonable force to neutralize them. Of course, the ideal responsible Government should also be an elected one by the people at periodic intervals. If there is a doubt about the legitimacy of a Government and the people decide to launch an insurrection, that should be the decision of the internal forces. It should not be for external forces to arrogate themselves that role, often, they do not have enough knowledge to decide rightly. Excessive external involvement always brings terrible distortions. Why should external forces involve themselves? That is a vote of no confidence in the people themselves. A legitimate internal insurrection, if that is the strategy chosen by the leaders of that effort, can succeed. The Shah of Iran was defeated by an internal insurrection; the Russian Revolution in 1917 was an internal insurrection; the Revolution in Zanzibar in 1964 was an internal insurrection; the changes in Ukraine, Georgia, etc., all were internal insurrections. It should be for the leaders of the Resistance in that country to decide their strategy, not for foreigners to sponsor insurrection groups in sovereign countries. I am totally allergic to foreign, political and military involvement in sovereign countries, especially the African countries. If foreign intervention is good, then, African countries should be the most prosperous countries in the world because we have had the greatest dosages of that: slave trade, colonialism, neo-colonialism, imperialism, etc. All those foreign imposed phenomena have, however, been disastrous. It is only recently that Africa is beginning to come up partly because of rejecting external meddling. External meddling and the acquiescence by Africans into that meddling have been responsible for the stagnation in Africa. The wrong definition of priorities in many of the African countries is, in many cases, imposed by external groups. Failure to prioritize infrastructure, for instance, especially energy, is, in part, due to some of these pressures. Instead, consumption is promoted. I have witnessed this wrong definition of priorities even here in Uganda. External interests linked up, for instance, with internal bogus groups to oppose energy projects for false reasons. How will an economy develop without energy? Quislings and their external backers do not care about all this.

2.If you promote foreign backed insurrections in small countries like Libya, what will you do with the big ones like China which has got a different system from the Western systems? Are you going to impose a no-fly-zone over China in case of some internal insurrections as happened in Tiananmen Square, in Tibet or in Urumqi?

3.The Western countries always use double standards. In Libya, they are very eager to impose a no-fly-zone. In Bahrain and other areas where there are pro-Western regimes, they turn a blind eye to the very same conditions or even worse conditions. We have been appealing to the UN to impose a no-fly-zone over Somalia so as to impede the free movement of terrorists, linked to Al-Qaeda, that killed Americans on September 11th, killed Ugandans last July and have caused so much damage to the Somalis, without success. Why? Are there no human beings in Somalia similar to the ones in Benghazi? Or is it because Somalia does not have oil which is not fully controlled by the western oil companies on account of Gaddafi’s nationalist posture?

4.The Western countries are always very prompt in commenting on every problem in the Third World – Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, etc. Yet, some of these very countries were the ones impeding growth in those countries. There was a military coup d'état that slowly became a Revolution in backward Egypt in 1952. The new leader, Nasser, had ambition to cause transformation in Egypt. He wanted to build a dam not only to generate electricity but also to help with the ancient irrigation system of Egypt. He was denied money by the West because they did not believe that Egyptians needed electricity. Nasser decided to raise that money by nationalizing the Suez Canal. He was attacked by Israel, France and Britain. To be fair to the USA, President Eisenhower opposed that aggression that time. Of course, there was also the firm stand of the Soviet Union at that time. How much electricity was this dam supposed to produce? Just 2000 mgws for a country like Egypt!! What moral right, then, do such people have to comment on the affairs of these countries?

5.Another negative point is going to arise out of the by now habit of the Western countries over-using their superiority in technology to impose war on less developed societies without impeachable logic. This will be the igniting of an arms race in the world. The actions of the Western countries in Iraq and now Libya are emphasizing that might is “right.” I am quite sure that many countries that are able will scale up their military research and in a few decades we may have a more armed world. This weapons science is not magic. A small country like Israel is now a super power in terms of military technology. Yet 60 years ago, Israel had to buy second-hand fouga magister planes from France. There are many countries that can become small Israels if this trend of overusing military means by the Western countries continues.

6.All this notwithstanding, Col. Gaddafi should be ready to sit down with the opposition, through the mediation of the AU, with the opposition cluster of groups which now includes individuals well known to us – Ambassador Abdalla, Dr. Zubeda, etc. I know Gaddafi has his system of elected committees that end up in a National People’s Conference. Actually Gaddafi thinks this is superior to our multi-party systems. Of course, I have never had time to know how truly competitive this system is. Anyway, even if it is competitive, there is now, apparently, a significant number of Libyans that think that there is a problem in Libya in terms of governance. Since there has not been internationally observed elections in Libya, not even by the AU, we cannot know what is correct and what is wrong. Therefore, a dialogue is the correct way forward.

7.The AU mission could not get to Libya because the Western countries started bombing Libya the day before they were supposed to arrive. However, the mission will continue. My opinion is that, in addition, to what the AU mission is doing, it may be important to call an extra-ordinary Summit of the AU in Addis Ababa to discuss this grave situation.

8.Regarding the Libyan opposition, I would feel embarrassed to be backed by Western war planes because quislings of foreign interests have never helped Africa. We have had a copious supply of them in the last 50 years – Mobutu, Houphouet Boigny, Kamuzu Banda, etc. The West made a lot of mistakes in Africa and in the Middle East in the past. Apart from the slave trade and colonialism, they participated in the killing of Lumumba, until recently, the only elected leader of Congo, the killing of Felix Moummie of Cameroon, Bartholomew Boganda of Central African Republic, the support for UNITA in Angola, the support for Idi Amin at the beginning of his regime, the counter-revolution in Iran in 1953, etc. Recently, there has been some improvement in the arrogant attitudes of some of these Western countries. Certainly, with Black Africa and, particularly, Uganda, the relations are good following their fair stand on the Black people of Southern Sudan. With the democratization of South Africa and the freedom of the Black people in Southern Sudan, the difference between the patriots of Uganda and the Western Governments had disappeared. Unfortunately, these rush actions on Libya are beginning to raise new problems. They should be resolved quickly. Therefore, if the Libyan opposition groups are patriots, they should fight their war by themselves and conduct their affairs by themselves. After all, they easily captured so much equipment from the Libyan Army, why do they need foreign military support? I only had 27 rifles. To be puppets is not good.

9.The African members of the Security Council voted for this Resolution of the Security Council. This was contrary to what the Africa Peace and Security Council had decided in Addis Ababa recently. This is something that only the extra-ordinary summit can resolve.

10.It was good that certain big countries in the Security Council abstained on this Resolution. These were: Russia, China, Brazil, India, etc. This shows that there are balanced forces in the world that will, with more consultations, evolve more correct positions.

11.Being members of the UN, we are bound by the Resolution that was passed, however rush the process. Nevertheless, there is a mechanism for review. The Western countries, which are most active in these rush actions, should look at that route. It may be one way of extricating all of us from possible nasty complications. What if the Libyans loyal to Gaddafi decide to fight on? Using tanks and planes that are easily targeted by Mr. Sarkozy’s planes is not the only way of fighting. Who will be responsible for such a protracted war? It is high time we did more careful thinking.

Yoweri K. Museveni
PRESIDENT
20th March 2011

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

BREAKING NEWS: Gaddafi's son 'killed by kamikaze pilot'

Brigade commander Khamis has been killed by a kamikaze air force pilot.
Khamis al-Gaddafi, 32, the seventh and youngest son of Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi, was said to have been blown up when a rebel airman crashed his jet into a military compound in Tripoli. The tyrant, who is in hiding in a desert bunker, was devastated by the attack on his son, who ran the feared Khamis brigade of elite troops.

In sick revenge for the Allies' attacks on Sunday, Gaddafi yesterday ordered his henchmen to round up innocent women and children as human shields. Several hundred civilians were being taken to key locations in the capital Tripoli and nearby Misrata to prevent further attacks on his compound. One resident said: "They are taking people hostage so the resistance cannot engage them. They don't care who they round up but they know once the intelligence services learn there are women and children involved, then they are safe from attack."

Sources claimed
Khamis died at a hospital in Tripoli from burn wounds, but the regime quickly denied the reports.

The tyrant's sons in Tripoli include Saif al-Islam, 38, who claims to be the leader of the modernising wing in the family and regularly appears on TV. Saif has travelled widely and wrote his PhD thesis at the London School of Economics titled, ironically,
The Role Of Civil Society In The Democratisation Of Global Governance Institutions: From ‘Soft Power’ to Collective Decision-Making?
.

Saadi Gaddafi, 37, was once a professional footballer in Malta and Italy, but he re-emerged as head of the Libyan special forces.

Mutassim, 33, is Gaddafis fourth son but possibly the most powerful, holding the position of national security adviser.

Security experts believe the biggest threat to Gaddafi could come from those closest to him.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Between Kibaki and Kalonzo, who’s playing whom?

By MAKAU MUTUA
 
I have looked at the entire PNU/KKK chessboard on The Hague trials of the Ocampo Six, and something doesn’t add up. The politics of the PNU/KKK brigade doesn’t fit the facts of the Ocampo Six.
 
Let me untangle the web of intrigue to show why the PNU/KKK “unity” on the Ocampo Six is a house of cards. To paraphrase the Book of Jeremiah, you don’t need a tsunami to “scatter” the key intriguers “to the four winds”. Just like ancient Rome, betrayal and treachery lurk in every corner. The biggest loser in the Ocampo Six debacle – which has exposed the Kenyan state as an intellectual midget – could be Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka. You can take that to the bank.
 
Mr Musyoka is being played – like a flute – by President Mwai Kibaki. He erroneously thinks the PNU/KKK alliance will anoint him Mr Kibaki’s successor. Of the three PNU/KKK supremos, he thinks he’s got the best shot at State House. This is why: He’s convinced that Finance minister Uhuru Kenyatta is “unelectable” because Kenyans will simply not put another Kikuyu in charge. He believes that the Kikuyu are beholden to him because he saved Mr Kibaki – by keeping the State House in the House of Mumbi – after the 2007 election. He believes that Mr Kibaki and Mr Kenyatta promised to back him in 2012. This is illusory, but that’s why Mr Musyoka is “carrying water” on the Ocampo Six. Mr Musyoka thinks that Eldoret North MP William Ruto can’t be a serious presidential candidate, and is simply a cog in the PNU/KKK plot. In his view, the Kikuyu will not support Mr Ruto for the State House. Not after his dalliance with PM Raila Odinga and the alleged role that various reports – and ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo – believe he played in attacks on the Kikuyu.
 
But PNU needs him because it believes he controls the Kalenjin vote. That’s why the KKK alliance is a PNU plot to use Mr Ruto and ride the Kalenjin vote to victory in 2012. This is the reason Mr Musyoka will do anything “to appear to save” Mr Ruto from The Hague.
 
But I have bad news for Mr Musyoka.
 
There’s every indication that Mr Musyoka isn’t Mr Kibaki’s – or PNU’s – preferred successor. That would be Mr Kenyatta. The moneyed Kikuyu elite – on whose behalf the Environment minister John Michuki appeared to speak last year – have left no doubt that Mr Kenyatta is their man. That’s why they are pulling all stops to derail, sabotage and stop The Hague trials. It’s why they look at Gichugu MP Martha Karua – one of the most compelling candidates – with an evil eye.
 
Mr Musyoka could learn something from Mr Odinga’s relationship with Mr Kibaki. As Mr Odinga bitterly found out after the 2002 elections, his MoU with Mr Kibaki was not worth an IOU. I believe that for now Mr Musyoka is naively “playing the mule” for the Ocampo Six. The “shuttle diplomacy” to stop The Hague trials is an embarrassment to him and Kenya. It has diminished him internationally, and eroded his credibility at home. The arguments he and his PNU/KKK intriguers make against The Hague trials are hypocritical, contradictory, insincere, and sophomoric. I don’t even think Mr Musyoka believes his own arguments. But he is convinced that he will ride his vigorous defence of Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto right into State House in 2012. If that’s the case, my advice to Mr Musyoka is simple – he must get Mr Kibaki, Mr Kenyatta, and Mr Ruto to publicly endorse him now.
 
But perhaps I am underestimating Mr Musyoka’s native cunning. So, let me flip the coin and assume that he knows he’s being played by Mr Kibaki and the PNU syndicate. I am going to put Mr Musyoka in the driver’s seat.
 
In his classic book On War on military logic, German thinker Carl von Clausewitz famously opined that “war is politics by other means”. But perhaps Mr Musyoka has flipped that wise saying on its head and believes that “politics is war by other means”. This means that he may be approaching his PNU/KKK “comrades” as “enemy soldiers” that he must fight politically. Thus Mr Musyoka neither trusts Mr Ruto, nor confides his real thoughts to Mr Kenyatta. In this scenario, Mr Musyoka knows that Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto don’t trust each other – not if Mr Moreno-Ocampo is to be believed about what he alleges the two did to each other’s community during the post-election mayhem. Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto are in a “union” of “mortal enemies”. This may be a paradox, but it’s realpolitik.
 
If The Hague guillotine was to magically go away – even with Mr Odinga still in the race for 2012 – perhaps Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto would be put asunder. I assume that Mr Musyoka knows this and is, therefore, taking advantage of their misery. Perhaps he hopes his “shuttle diplomacy” will make Kenya look like it condones impunity. In doing so, Mr Musyoka actually “sabotages” Kenya’s case for a deferral and makes sure that Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto will be carted off to The Hague.
 
This outcome makes him the only viable PNU/KKK presidential candidate. In this clever plot, Mr Musyoka turns the tables on the wily Mr Kibaki and his “Uhuru Project”. Whereas Mr Kibaki hopes to “smear” Mr Musyoka with the “shuttle diplomacy,” it is Mr Musyoka who actually outsmarts him. These scenarios are not far-fetched. Not if you know what’s at stake in 2012. 


Makau Mutua is Dean and SUNY Distinguished Professor at the State University of New York at Buffalo Law School and Chair of the KHRC.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

US & Angola clash over Kenya weapons

 The Maersk Constellation, carrying military weapons for Kenya, is being detained in Angola.
A ship carrying military weapons belonging to Kenya is being held in Angola, the US revealed on Tuesday.

A statement from the US State Department did not give details on why the Angolan Government was still holding the ship, Maersk Constellation, even after it had furnished them with details of its cargo. “Our primary concern is for the safety and well-being of the crew, including the 20 US citizens on the Maersk Constellation. The status of the personnel on the Maersk Constellation is unclear, and we are actively seeking clarification from Angolan authorities,” the statement said.

The US expressed concerns over the delay, saying it could affect perishable items for humanitarian programmes in Mozambique, Malawi and Rwanda. The ship is carrying about 15 million kilos of maize, soy and beans. “US Embassy officials are in Lobito, Angola, to meet with the 20 US citizens on the ship and provide consular services as needed. This is the embassy team’s third visit to the ship,” the statement said. Last week, Mr Kevin Speers of Maersk Line Ltd attributed the delay to the four containers of ammunition. “We have been engaged with the Angolan authorities to clarify the status of the American crewmen since the beginning of this incident on February 28, and will continue to do so,” he said.

On Monday, Defence minister Yusuf Haji said the arms belonged to Kenya and the government did not disclose the cargo deliberately while it was still in the high seas. On Tuesday, Department of Defence spokesman Bogita Ongeri refused to give a detailed statement because Kenya had not taken charge of the cargo.

The shipping line said on Monday that State Department officials had discussed the delays with Angolan officials. “The meeting was a positive step toward allowing the vessel to continue on its voyage. The Angolan officials shared their concerns regarding perceived discrepancies in the ship’s documentation of four containers of ammunition and stated that they intend to resolve the matter through an administrative procedure against Maersk Line Limited,” the firm said in a statement. It added that Angola was awaiting more documents from Kenya. “Once the administrative process and the requested declaration from the Kenyan Government are complete, the release of the ship will be forthcoming. “Maersk Line Ltd is looking forward to finalising the process to release the crew, vessel and cargo. We will remain fully engaged and will continue to work with Angolan authorities and United States government officials until the ship is under way.”

Monday, March 14, 2011

Why the Ocampo 6 deferrals won't work

Kibaki's star-crossed envoys meet Wenaweser in New York last week.
By Makau Mutua

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Last week, President Mwai Kibaki appointed a pack of ministers – headed by Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka – to ratchet up the PNU/KKK’s bid for the deferral of The Hague trials of the Ocampo Six. Which begs the question – why is Mr Kibaki so desperate to pursue this errand?

The request is dead on arrival now that the ICC has summoned the Ocampo Six. The noose just got tighter. Maybe Mr Kibaki thinks the Ocampo Six could implicate him. Or the Ocampo Six have “taken him hostage”.
Perhaps it’s all of the above. What’s shocking, though, is the list of Cabinet “envoys” assigned to lobby for the deferral.

They have mega credibility problems. Mr Musyoka, the leader of the pack, is a key 2012 intriguer together with Finance minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Eldoret MP William Ruto, two of the Ocampo Six. That alone shatters his credibility. He seeks the deferral for two reasons. He may want to save the two pillars of the PNU/KKK alliance without whom he faces an uphill task against PM Raila Odinga in 2012. Or he may be “playing to the gallery” and feigning sympathy with Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto to harvest Kikuyu and Kalenjin votes if the two are carted off to The Hague.

This playbook is transparent to the Americans and Brits who are certain to veto the deferral request. It’s not a secret that Mr Kenyatta, Mr Ruto and Head of Civil Service Francis Muthaura – another of the Ocampo Six – are the “master puppeteers” behind VP Musyoka and President Kibaki. So how credible is the VP if he is being orchestrated by the suspects? The AU, a bastion of impunity, may listen to him. But why would the UN Security Council? I have some advice for Mr Kibaki. This play is so futile that he might as well have appointed Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto to lobby for the deferral themselves. Sending Mr Musyoka to the UN in New York is an insult to the intelligence of the Security Council. President Kibaki has bad advisers.

Let’s look at the other “envoys”. Agriculture minister Sally Kosgei has already pledged loyalty to Mr Ruto and condemned the ICC. Her vitriol against The Hague has been venomous. Why would anyone listen to her?
Especially after she publicly joined and defended Mr Ruto’s tribal project? She may have been a diplomat, but that was then. 

Defender of impunity
Lately – and I deeply regret this – she has turned into a tribal charlatan and a defender of impunity. The other key “lobbyist” is Internal Security minister George Saitoti. He, too, is a major link in the PNU/KKK chain. Minister Chirau Mwakwere, another “envoy,” is more of a comedian, and less of a diplomat. The other “envoys” are inconsequential, although it’s stunning they are all PNU/KKK bedfellows. Nairobi Metropolitan minister Njeru Githae is a rabid PNU partisan. Minister Hellen Sambili is unlikely to impress anyone abroad. The urbane Richard Onyonka, the junior minister in the Foreign Affairs docket, is on the trip ex-officio.

Mr Kibaki would have been better advised to appoint “envoys” from the religious community and civil society. But I guess he couldn’t find any for the “dirty work”. Or he could have asked “bona fide ODM leaders” to support the effort. I guess that, too, was not possible. Which makes the deferral bid a partisan political project to sabotage the ICC and entrench impunity. That’s why it will fail.

Is this the sort of company that respectable statesmen keep?
It does not help matters that two of the leaders that Mr Musyoka used to get the AU backing are toast. Former Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak is now an ex-president, courtesy of Tahrir Square. The other, the eccentric Muammar Gaddafi of Libya, is clinging to whatever little patch of sand he still controls in Tripoli. Is this the sort of company that respectable statesmen keep? With friends like these who needs enemies! The deferral exercise lacks legitimacy at home and credibility abroad.

A smarter strategy would have seen the Ocampo Six stay as far away from President Kibaki and VP Musyoka as possible. Which knucklehead advises these people?

I predict that Kenya’s request for a deferral will never make it on the Security Council agenda. Why? Because it’s not a matter of “international peace and security”. Even more importantly, I don’t think Kenya will get any country on the Security Council to put the matter on its agenda. That’s why it wasn’t put on the agenda for February and March. 

Won’t touch it
The three African countries on the Security Council – South Africa, Gabon and Nigeria – won’t touch it with a 10-foot pole. Nor will other non-African states. This request will die on the vine, never having been discussed. But its cost to Kenyans – in treasure and reputation – is huge. Bottom line is that Mr Kibaki’s legacy at the twilight of his long political career is unflattering. Mr Musyoka’s is none the better.

Think of this push for the deferral in the context of WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks paints Mr Kibaki as a protector of impunity. Mr Musyoka comes off as a lightweight who will do anything to ascend to the top. Both behaved in undignified ways before Ambassador Michael Ranneberger, America’s envoy in Nairobi. The ICC “shuttle diplomacy” further diminishes them.
Makau Mutua is Dean and SUNY Distinguished Professor at the State University of New York at Buffalo Law School and Chair of the KHRC.

Friday, March 11, 2011

SIASADUNI EXCLUSIVE: Did Uhuru Kenyatta kill a potential ICC witness?

There have been serious threats against potential witnesses of the ICC, but we now know there has been murder as well.

Top suspects Uhuru, Muthaura and Ruto are reported to be directing a serious campaign to intimidate potential witnesses. As Wikileaks cables now reveal, the November 2009 street-assassination of Mungiki spokesman Njuguna Gitau by reported undercover police officers on a busy Nairobi street is directly linked to ICC witness protection.

According to the Wikileaks cables, Gitau may have been the lynchpin who channeled funding from Uhuru Kenyatta during the latter’s sponsoring of Mungiki retaliatory murders and violence during the post-election violence. With his brutal murder, a high-priority witness with a "smoking gun" testimony disappeared forever. It is therefore paramount that other witnesses be guaranteed real protection if this ICC thing is to succeed.

One of the diplomatic dispatches from the US Embassy aptly captures Kenya's dilemma:

Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs Mutula Kilonzo has publicly acknowledged receiving "bundles" of letters from post-election violence witnesses reporting intimidation, many of whom testified before the Waki Commission, and who have therefore already attracted unwelcome attention from post-election violence inciters and organizers. While Kilonzo notes that threats will complicate any prosecution of post-election violence suspects, he continues to argue that he is powerless to protect them and accuses Attorney General Amos Wako, who is responsible for oversight of the witness protection program, of failing to fulfill his duties. (Note: Wako was recently subjected to 212f visa sanctions for his role in several high-level corruption cases, and does not appear to feel any sense of urgency with regard to his witness protection mandate. Kilonzo's suggestion that he has no ability to realize implementation of the witness protection program is disingenuous at best. End note).

The bold truth is that for successful investigation and prosecution of Uhuru Kenyatta and Francis Muthaura, the ICC will require nothing short of the FULL COOPERATION of the Kenyan government - which will never happen precisely because the two are at the very apex and center of that government. The last few weeks have proven that Uhuru Kenyatta is in fact the de facto leader of Kenya under this lame-duck closing-moment of Kibaki's tenure. Uhuru is the behind-the-scene director of Kibaki's own political realignments. Uhuru makes the picks for crucial appointments announced by Kibaki. Uhuru has gained the support and endorsement of the Gikuyu elite, vigorously fearful of ceding power to political rivals (Uhuru's endorsement by the Gikuyu glitterati was publicly espoused by John Michuki).

This de facto (and behind-the scenes) leader of Kenya has also proven that his priority is to save himself from ICC prosecution. Using his vantage as Finance Minister, the now boldly-assertive and foul-tempered Uhuru Kenyatta has been misallocating large amounts of Kenyan public resources in the singular bid to frustrate ICC prosecution of PEV.  Part of Uhuru's directives have involved the forceful dispatch of Kalonzo Musyoka on the back-firing shuttle diplomacy mission across African capitals (like recently besieged Cairo and Tripoli) to mobilize anti-ICC sentiments and galvanize AU support for deferral of Kenya's case. More recently, Kalonzo has been turned away from the USA. Another of Uhuru's fingerprints was Kibaki's faux-pas nomination of Chief Justice, Attorney General, DPP and DoB.

Uhuru's Tango with Ruto — in wrenching off Henry Kosgey and Sally Kosgei from mainstream ODM (using threats of prosecution for corruption) — is another of his latest handiwork. Charity Ngilu and Musalia Mudavadi are still being "processed" along similar lines. I hope you can now see the invisible hand that has been remotely feeding PLO Lumumba's in-tray at KACC? No wonder PLO's appointment was swiftly confirmed by Parliament!

Uhuru, assisted by Ruto, has similarly been coordinating the publicly unpopular Parliamentary effort to pull Kenya out of the ICC. Their string of 'successes', bolstered by the parliamentary numbers of impunity footsoldiers, has definitely emboldened them, and rejuvenated the perceived indomitability of their coordinated 2012 presidential bid.

Now back to their joint role in stone-walling the ICC probe of PEV.

Uhuru, Muthaura and Ruto are doing everything possible to kill Kenya's cooperation with ICC. They have certainly appreciated the reality that successful ICC prosecution requires some degree of cooperation with the government. That is why Uhuru and Muthaura are clinging at the heart of government — to prevent cooperation. Crucial aspects of this cooperation involve WITNESS PROTECTION and ASSET FREEZES/PROPERTY SEIZURES. ICC does not have its own witness protection programme, but relies on cooperation from member states. Keeping witnesses alive and safe will be the cornerstone of successful prosecution of the high and mighty: Uhuru is Kenya’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, and former first son — possibly the wealthiest man in Kenya today; Francis Muthaura is the head of Kenya’s civil service and secretary to the cabinet, and effectively Kenya's shadow president. How then could ICC possibly hope to get full cooperation regarding, say, the freezing of Muthaura's assets — if the instructions to do so essentially have to pass through the same Muthaura? How can witnesses be guaranteed protection if everything regarding the witness protection program (funding, passing amendments to the Witness Protection Act 2010, etc) all revolve around Uhuru and Muthaura?

Meanwhile, witnesses are being killed and intimidated. Apart from Gitau’s murder, former AP Deputy Commandant Oki Kaunya has also received death threats prompting his exile, facilitated by foreign diplomats cooperating with ICC. Muthaura has singularly stone-walled the ICC requested taking of statements from Security chiefs during the PEV. Uhuru and Ruto have mobilized parliamentary numbers to prevent the amendment of the Witness Protection Law to give it more independence, teeth and capacity. Uhuru is well on track to hand-pick his cousin Prof. Githu Muigai to be Kenya’s next Attorney General, essentially giving him the added bonus of a first-hand account and details of witnesses enrolled in the witness protection program. The Witness Protection program is currently under the AG’s office. Does anyone in their right mind think any witness protection program under Githu Muigai would be credible in guaranteeing safety to witnesses slated to testify against Githu’s own cousin, de facto employer and benefactor, Uhuru Kenyatta? The UK recently donated a paltry £200,000 ($311,945) to the ICC Registrar to specifically offer protection to witnesses of PEV slated to testify at the ICC. Truth is, it’s it's a drop in the ocean.

Under Kenya’s current Witness Protection Act, the Witness Protection Unit is headed by an Uhuru Kenyatta stooge called Alice Ondieki, and the unit falls under the AG. Security is provided by the rotten and corrupt Kenya Police, and AG must directly approve anyone entering the program. The program is also directly funded by Uhuru Kenyatta, through a line item in the budget of the Ministry of Justice. This program is too closely linked to Uhuru, Muthaura and the existing security forces. How can such a system protect a suspect set to testify against Uhuru Kenyatta or Francis Muthaura?

The impunity merchants are slowly grabbing back Kenya, away from the path of reform. All systems are being set to work for their individual interests and protection, not for the common good. They are derailing implementation of the new Constitution and deliberately triggering instability. Their recent language is laced with tribal epithets and slurs aimed at stoking ethnic divisions. The ICC Prosecutor must be finding it quite frustrating and expensive to successfully investigate and prosecute government insiders who have their hands in Kenya's public purse.

As Ocampo continues probing Kenya's PEV, and thabk God Pre-Trial Chamber II Judges have now issued summonses for the Ocampo 6 to appear before them on April 7, the ICC Prosecutor must do one more thing for Kenyans: he must investigate who killed the potential ICC witness and former Mungiki spokesman, Njuguna Gitau.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Intellectual Lightweight fails to impress

"I'm Wiper, bitchez!!"
Kenya's Intellectual Lightweight has bitten the dust in the United States.

No sooner had he met with Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg in Washington on Wednesday than a State Department official said to a Kenyan newspaper, “we do not support a UN Security Council resolution to defer the ICC Kenya investigation.”

The VP had held talks with representatives of other Security Council member-states in New York on Monday. He sought their support for a one-year suspension of the International Criminal Court’s cases against six Kenyans accused of orchestrating the violence following the 2007 elections. The other four permanent members of the council, as well as the three African countries holding rotating council seats, did not respond to Nation inquiries regarding their position on a possible ICC deferral. But without US backing, Kenya has no chance of gaining the council’s approval for the proposed deferral. Vice President Musyoka declined on Wednesday evening to comment on the outcome of his visit to New York and Washington.

The State Department official added in an e-mail message to the newspaper that the US does not agree with the approach being taken by the Kenyan government in hopes of shielding the six from ICC action.

Muthaura is 'shadow president' - Wikileaks

John Githongo could have rejoined the government if Raila Odinga had won the December 2007 presidential election, according to the latest Wikileaks cables. Other interesting revelations include a description of Francis Muthaura as "shadow president" and a positive assessment of Speaker Kenneth Marende.

A diplomatic cable dated June 4, 2008, expressed the disappointment of US Ambassador Michael Ranneberger that "the new coalition government has given some of the country's most egregious thieves a new lease on life and strengthened their already strong sense of impunity." After giving Washington a rundown on various politicians back in power, the ambassador also questioned Kamlesh Pattni's deal with Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission to hand over the Grand Regency Hotel in exchange for an amnesty over his failure to repay a 1993 Sh2.5 billion loan.

The ambassador expressed concern that a similar amnesty deal might be extended to Deepak Kamani, architect of the Anglo-Leasing scams who had been made ineligible for an American visa. The cable said that any such amnesty deals should be conducted transparently. "Githongo’s brother told Econ/C in mid-May that John Githongo had offered to join a Raila Odinga government had Odinga become president after the elections in late December. His sole condition was to be given free rein to implement such a transparent program of restitution and closure," said the cable. "Odinga is back in government as Prime Minister but his commitment to such a program is not known. Moreover there are credible indications that Odinga has close ties and receives support from some of the very corruption kingpins that would oppose an open system of restitution". However the cable said that Githongo was now "moving on" as Director of Policy at World Vision.

Another cable on April 2, 2009 said that Ranneberger had met NSIS boss Michael Gichangi, Foreign minister Moses Wetangula and Civil Service boss Francis Muthaura to "make clear US concern regarding insufficient action to advance implementation of the reform agenda". He expressed concern about extrajudicial killings and the Kenyan rejection of the American offer of FBI assistance to investigate the murders of two Oscar Foundation activists.

"Muthaura is considered to be virtually a 'shadow president' so much power does he wield", the cable states. "Muthaura argued that the reform agenda is in fact moving forward and was defensive on the specific issue of corruption" maintaining that having ODM and PNU ministers in each ministry had created "checks and balances".

"He stressed that President Kibaki is fully committed to 'fast tracking' implementation of the reform agenda in concert with PM Raila Odinga," the cable states. Ranneberger emphasised to Muthaura that a "right signal" would be to strengthen the legislation for a special local tribunal to try the 2007-08 post-election violence cases and make it more "independent and credible".

On April 27, 2009, Ranneberger sent a cable analysing the showdown over who should be the Leader of Government Business in Parliament. "Given that both sides have repeatedly demonstrated a propensity to miscalculate, a walkout from Parliament cannot be ruled out," said the cable. "It is also possible that if the two sides do not pull back, the crisis could slide towards the holding of new elections or a unilateral (but still constitutionally legitimate) government involving only Kibaki, his Party of National Unity, and Vice-President Musyoka", wrote Ranneberger.

The cable praised Speaker Kenneth Marende for trying to seek a compromise solution in the showdown. "Marende is on the hot seat. Since last year he has shown himself to be a man of principle who has run Parliament in an objective, non-partisan manner. Kibaki, Musyoka and Odinga have set up the crisis as a winner-take-all outcome, so there is little room for compromise".