By Nangayi Guyson
Kampala, Uganda- Now that International Criminal Court (ICC) is seeking to adjourn the trial of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and possibly dismiss all cases against him ,but Did you know that Ugandan peace negotiator David Matsanga‘s unending criticism forced ICC to halt Prosecution against President Uhuru Kenyatta?
Ugandan born, huge, tall, fearless, brave -bold talker and former LRA peace negotiator, David Matsanga who started his fight against ICC’s biasness on Africa way back when Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto were indicted by the Hague court for inciting 2007 election violence that killed 1,200 people and displaced more than 500,000, has been popularly known in Kenyan medias for his unending advocacy to the court to drop Kenya cases and this is almost coming to pass.
On 19th Dec 2013, the ICC Chief prosecutor , Mrs. Fatou Bensouda released a statement saying he office was unable to try Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and that she has asked for an adjournment in the trial after the two key witnesses had recently withdrawn from the Prosecution witness list. One of the Prosecution’s key witnesses in the case against Mr. Kenyatta had indicated that is no longer willing to testify and a second key witness in the case confessed to giving false evidence regarding a critical event in the Prosecution’s case.
“Having carefully considered my evidence and the impact of the two withdrawals, I have come to the conclusion that currently the case against Mr. Kenyatta does not satisfy the high evidentiary standards required at trial. I therefore need time to complete efforts to obtain additional evidence, and to consider whether such evidence will enable my Office to fully meet the evidentiary threshold required at trial.” Said Ms Bensouda in a statement
When this news reached Matsang’s desk, he responded with along worded article thanking the prosecutor for seeing the light at last and wondering why Ms Bensouda had taken too long to see the truth. He went ahead and advised the prosecutor to terminate all the cases against Kenyan president Uhuru because they lack evidences and proper investigations were not done while obtain the witnesses.
Dr David Matsanga who is a conflict Resolution expert, Pan Africanist and an international lobbyist, has used his Africa World Media to repeatedly accuse ICC for being bias on Africa and for coaching witnesses to testify against President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto. He has published so many articles on his media and has done so many interviews with most Kenyan Medias like NTV, Capital FM , among others accusing ICC for lacking concrete evidences to prosecute the two Kenyan leaders.
However, the publishing of these critical materials caused him to clash with the former ICC Moreno-Ocampo who had accused Matsanga for interfering with Witnesses. Ocampo reached a point of threatening him to pull down all the anti-ICC articles or face arrest, He was interrogated by ICC detectives from the Prosecutor’s office who traveled to Kenya’s capital Nairobi between April 12 and 13 over the same articles and a video posted on his website about witness No 4 James Maina Kabutu’s whom Matsanga exposed as a liar. Unfortunately Moreno-Ocampo’s threats did not stop him from telling Africa that ICC is bias when handling cases on the continent but empowered Matsanga with the ant-ICC work which has enabled the Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta to gain some breathing space hopping cases against him may completely be dismissed.
But of recent, there have been criticisms and questions from politicians and academician about who is Matsanga and on whose behalf is he doing this work? And who pays him or his working for President Uhuru Kenyatta to intimidate ICC witnesses? But his answer has always been that, he has never met Uhuru or Ruto but he is doing the work as an African nationalist like Nkwama Ikuruma , Nelson Mandela and others. He adds that he can afford to pay for himself or his children can pay for costs incurred in this work since they are all educated. Kenyan professor Makau Mutua, has been against Matsanga’s work and he reached appoint of comparing him to Dictator Iddi Amin and being a liability to Uhuru and Ruto but these has led the two men to write articles in medias challenging each other.
Mantsanga’s criticism on ICC also attracted African Union (AU) and opened eyes of many African leaders to truly believe that this criminal court is biased on Africa. Matsanga’s accusations on the court can truly be supported when you go into the ICC’s webpage at the top where there is a set of maps for Countries which ICC is currently interested in (there is no heading to confirm or tell us otherwise until you click on the map) these countries of interest are; Uganda, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Central African Republic, Darfur Sudan, Kenya, Libya, Côte d’Ivoire, and Mali.
True the situations in these countries may be terrible or it has been worse in the past but why is it difficult to see other non-African countries like Syria, IRAQ ,Chechnya, North Korea and many others not mentioned here on the list and yet the humanitarian situation in those countries is more worse?.
The AU has complained that 99% of those charged by the ICC are Africans which shows that the institution is biased and there have been threats of possible mass withdrawal from Hague-based court after the debated two-day African Union summit in Ethiopia’s capital. But these African leaders came to see all the loopholes in the Hague Court after one man Matsanga repeatedly accused the western countries for using the court to target strong Africans they never liked and install or change regimes.
Most of the anti-ICC articles by Matsanga were at least addressed to African leaders like the Ugandan president Museveni who later picked interest in his work and believed that ICC was targeting Africans. President Musveni come over out openly and said the ICC is targeting only African leaders and that there was a plot to detain Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta at The Hague when his trial for crimes against humanity starts and urged all fellow heads of state to withdraw their membership from the ICC. The president proposed that African countries can solve their internal problems without referring them to the Hague-based court.
This has relaxed ICC to handle cases in Africa promptly fearing the image of the Court on the continent may be tarnished. Sudan president’s Omar Hassan Ahmad Al Bashir who has been on wanted by the court on war crimes committed in Darfur has been enjoying life of recent after the pressure was eased.
Though Matsanga has not yet been awarded by AU or thanked by the African presidents for his work, but interrogations , indimation and opening cases against him by former ICC prosecutor Moreno-Ocampo indicates that he was a threat to court’s hinden agenda in africa. Let us pray that Mrs. Fatou Bensouda will try to clean the court’s image in the continent.