Ngunjiri Wambugu, the director of Change Associates which is a "communications think tank," has the temerity to suggest that the situation in Kenya after the 2007 general election is the same as that that has prevailed in Palestine since 1947. I do not know which bits of the history books Mr Wambugu has been perusing, but I am sure that a people that has named what befell them the Naqba will be leery to be compared to a little-known political backwater known as the Rift Valley Province populated by two tribes that have had a love-hate relationship since the founding of the Republic.
This is not to downplay the hypocrisy of the United States government when it comes to its interventions in Palestine. But to compare the utter destruction of a people's homeland, their exile to foreign lands, and their complete betrayal by world powers to the political problems arising out of two tribal leaderships' collective myopia is to take hyperbole too far.
This is also not to say that the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court had a credible case to begin with. Founded on flawed investigations that ignored basic principles of due process and fair play, the Kenya Cases at the ICC were bedevilled by problems even before indictments were handed down by the Pre-trial Chamber. Of the initial accused, Henry Kosgey, Hussein Ali and Francis Muthaura understood that for them to prevail, they had to challenge the evidence relied on by the Prosecutor to indict them. They let their lawyers handle it. They were vindicated. The remaining three, including the hapless Sang, pursued a two-pronged strategy that was flawed from the start.
The strategy - a political bandobast against the ICC and a legal assault on the ICC process - might have gotten two of the accused elected to the highest offices in Kenya, but it prolonged and complicated what should have been a relatively short and uncomplicated process. In the end, one of the Cases collapsed entirely with none of the accused standing trial at all; the other Case is at the Trial stage with the hapless Sang and the Deputy President in the dock. Any similarities between the Kikuyu-Kalenjin political animus with the human rights tragedy of Palestinians is only visible to Mr Wambugu.
In Kenya the instinct to appoint kingpins to represent our interests remains strong, especially if they are of the ethnic variety. It is not wrong in and of itself. But to equate the fate of the kingpin with the fate of the represented is stretching things too far and setting the stage for future horrors. Mr Ruto's and Mr Sang's trials are not trials of the Kalenjin just as the dropping of charges against Mr Kenyatta was not a dropping of charges against the Kikuyu.Mr Wambugu must take this to heart, because the charges filed against Mr Kenyatta were not filed against the Kikuyu nor were the charges filed against Mr Ruto and Mr Sand filed against the Kalenjin.
The temerity to suggest that the question of right and wrong, justice and injustice, is no longer germane is perverse too. In Kenya's case, whether we agree with the Office of the Prosecutor or not, the ICC handed down indictments against known people, not their communities. These people are accused of perpetrating great crimes; their communities remain blameless. At no point did the Office of the Prosecutor suggest that the organisations he spoke of were political parties or ethnic communities; this is something only Mr Wambugu sees. If the trial of Mr Sang and Mr Ruto is concluded, the verdict will be for or against them; the Kalenjin are not on trial. They never were.