For the past week, OTP Witness 376 has been on a blitzkrieg in Hague, laying down compelling evidence against Ruto regarding the planning and execution of PEV in the North Rift. Eloquent, articulate, and steady, he withstood a tough cross-examination on Friday, that is set to continue next week. There are some nuanced answers that he gave that will definitely become problematic for Ruto. He also came out too smooth, as if thoroughly debriefed. Questions are beginning to emerge in light of the performance of this particular witnesses in court, something that has apparently taken Ruto’s defense by surprise.
It is now apparent that Ruto’s case at the ICC was largely built by the Kibaki-era bureaucrats and security/intelligence machinery. Ruto has even gone ahead and named those responsible for his legal woes at the ICC – the likes of Nancy Gitau, Mutea Iringo, et al.
In light of the Uhuruto marriage, why then have the same PNU/Jubilee people not summoned their “witnesses” to withdraw en-masse and let Ruto’s case automatically collapse?
Be your own judge. A legally-free Deputy President called William Ruto, with Kenyatta still bound to answer serious criminal charges at the Hague is not exactly what the masters of Jubilee envision for Kenya. It is what it is!
Ruto’s acceding to wise counsel — to continue attending trial — is apparently being met by suspicion within some quarters of Jubilee. Some Jubilee honchos (especially those co-opted from the PNU/Kibaki era) are now looking at Ruto’s move to loyally attend court as an act of audacious ambition. Apparently, Ruto has gone against “advice” from Kenyatta handlers and external supporters like Museveni and Kagame to snub the trials altogether. By continued attendance, he is now being accused of “trying to make the President look bad”. It is just common sense that Ruto’s going against the deferral scheme is on advice from his lawyers who not only know that such deferral plans may not technically cover Ruto, but that it is also bound to fail.
There appears to be a slow fusion developing between certain quarters of the Kibaki regime and the shaky Kenyatta administration. The former are coming in under the guise of “strengthening” the current administration.
Anti-Ruto forces within the previous PNU establishment, temporarily taken aback by the political marriage between Uhuru and Ruto, are slowly beginning to find a voice within the Kenyatta administration.
They have probably taken advantage of Ruto’s prolonged absence from the country while on trial. They have calculated that the trend is likely to continue for at least two years —giving them ample leeway to entrench their positions within the administration.
The anti-Ruto brigade of the Kibaki era is not keen to have Uhuru leaving the country for prolonged stay at Hague. They are strong proponents of the deferral project. They are afraid of Ruto intermittently coming back to act as President (while Kenyatta is away) – probably fearing that Ruto might get perfect opportunity to square even with them. Ruto is not the kind of guy to miss an opportunity to tame a potent critic or enemy. They know it quite well. After all, the fingerprints of their work against Ruto are right now playing out in court (Hague) — right in front of Ruto’s eyes.
Genuine witness or Political Hit-man?
Ruto’s loyal attendance of court proceedings may thus not be such a rosy affair for him after all. The political chicken are coming back home to test the strength of the intra-Jubilee camaraderie – which is ironically trying to expand to absorb some previously reluctant Kibaki era loyalists (the anti-Ruto crew).
Watch out for OTP witness 376’s continued cross-examination by Ruto’s lawyer, Essa Faal, tomorrow (Monday). Damning testimonies from this witness (& the OTP witness who broke down in court) must be keeping Ruto awake at night in Hague. Witness 376 resisted a tough cross-examination by Faal on Friday, refusing to budge an inch on the contentious madoadoa word.
Ruto’s supporters believe this madoadoa business is all hype concocted by Kibaki-era spies to fix Ruto.
Faal showed chamber judges a video with Raila using the same word, in the context of calling for a “three-piece-suit” voting pattern. Witness 376 steadily stood his ground, saying that whereas Raila’s usage was likely in a political (voting) context, Ruto being a local, was colloquially using the term as an ethnic code — basically calling upon majority Kalenjins to evict minority Kikuyu’s. Of course, this is the same line cemented by the likes of Maj. Gen. Gichangi during the Waki tribunal.
The alleged madoadoa speech by Ruto is also one of the star features of the KNCHR reports, Waki report, and USAID field briefings coordinated by none other than Nancy Gitau, currently a senior advisor of President Kenyatta. This madoadoa argument was the hallmark of Friday’s cross-examination in Hague – and the dispute continued into a camera session, with witness 376 clearly enjoying an upper hand in front of the judges.
In short, this witness successfully passed the message to judges that one needs to be a local to understand the context of language usage. This mutes the usage-equivalency argument being made by defense illustrating that other politicians like Raila used the same word. This witness 376 was in fact doing the prosecutor’s job –without pay! He is eloquently and ferociously going the extra mile to pin-down Ruto. Is he a genuine witness or a camouflaged political hit-man? Is he an authentic and random witness or a sophisticated boardroom creation of the likes of Nancy Gitau? Could he be any ordinary witness who just by happenstance, intuitively fills in for prosecutorial deficiencies while on trial (many times thinking on his feet)?
Ruto and his defense do not think so.
Ruto and his team are in fact seeing a tough and legally trained witness, carefully selected and thoroughly prepared by the Kibaki-era NSIS machinery and advisors (Iringo, Gitau, Gichangi et al) — to testify against Ruto. In today’s Standard newspaper, Nancy Gitau reveals she was recruited into the Kibaki’s PNU government directly from State House – through former Kibaki-advisor Stanley Murage. She was being recruited from NSAID -where she enjoyed proximal access to virtually all Kenyan NGOs who needed funding from USAID (just about all NGOs for that matter). Nancy Gitau was a big catch by State House – to be used to fix certain political errands! Such as the “fixing” of Ruto.
As Ruto and his defense currently sit in court, they are seeing some of the yields from the co-opting of NSAID NGO coordinators like Nancy Gitau into State House. The latter has remained in State House after Kenyatta’s transition. Ruto and team are now tormented daily by witnesses hired and trained (by the Kibaki-era PNU think-tank) to nail him. They currently see a witness feigning local traditions and simplicity, yet in reality could be a sophisticated and clever agent. When Ruto’s defense tried to shake off this particular witness with the claim that the Gikuyu in the North Rift equally use derogatory code words against the Kalenjin, she brushed it off for irrelevance – because such usage did not incite mass killings.
When the tenacious Faal asked him whether he knew of Gikuyus beheading and displaying heads of slaughtered Luos on sticks, at a place called Langas, he inadvertently revealed a big clue. He denied knowledge of the same yet admitted being in knowledge of a meeting between the area chief of Langas with both the Luo and Gikuyu communities in the same locality. Ordinary folks rarely know of scheduled security meetings of the provincial administration. What instantly rings in pondering minds is the possibility that this witness could actually be (/or was) affiliated with security (law enforcement) one way or another. NSI? Provincial Administration?….
These are the realities of what are going on in court right now.
Ruto must be wondering…”if the Uhuruto marriage is being taken seriously by the Gikuyu establishment, why didn’t these NSIS-prepared witnesses withdraw like other witnesses were purportedly doing?”
That’s the elephant currently sitting in the Jubilee tent. Ruto is wondering why anti-Ruto forces of the Kibaki era like Iringo and Nancy Gitau are still having leeway in the budding Uhuruto administration. He secretly knows there is still potent fear of him among these circles — thus the silent assignment to clip his wings despite all his efforts in “putting” Uhuru into power.
As Ruto sits in court right now, he knows that the tough witness 376 is/was one way or another affiliated with the same government that he is # 2 in. It is therefore not an accident that Ruto’s lawyers a few days ago publicly released “the list” of people he accuses of having “manufactured” evidence against him, then “coached” witnesses to testify against him.
Ruto went public, accusing Mutea Iringo, Martha Karua, Nancy Gitau, and others he deliberately omitted from the list (such as Michael Gichangi, and Githu Muigai) for plotting to permanently fix him politically.
Ruto was likely spurred into doing this because he was now directly facing in court, a tough and credible witness. He is probably expecting similar witnesses to come up, witnesses who have been “ generated, processed, and packaged” by the Mt. Kenya establishment; witnesses who may very likely send him to jail and permanently end his political career. He must have also been sending a subtle message to Kenyatta to act — by firing those who sent him to the Hague. What will the latter do? The chicken are slowly coming back home. Those in denial may not see it yet – but it is what it is!