Ocampo came from the International Criminal Court last week and said he would move with speed to try those guilty of perpetrating 2007/8 post-election violence because he wanted to try to end the current culture of impunity that exists in advance of the 2012 election.
As far as I can make out, everybody was very nice to him when he visited. He even got to adopt and stroke a cheetah. After shaking hands with Raila Odinga and Mwai Kibaki they agreed to arrest and send ‘two or three’ key perpetrators of post election violence his way on completion of investigations due to begin in December. The guilty parties are to be tried either in the Hague, or Arusha or somewhere else. Ruto bleeted in the press that people should stop focussing on this subject, Uhuru Kenyatta stayed silent.
Monday’s headline hinted at an about-turn. Surprise, surprise, Kenya’s leaders, having been gung-ho while Ocampo was here, have mulled things over the weekend and are now being very cagey about whether they will in fact undertake any arrests or allow anyone to be sent to The Hague or ICC at all. After my initial excitement that justice might be served, I now feel a yawn coming on.
Amos Wako, Attorney General is still fuming and whining about being barred entry to the US. Today, civil society is beginning to question why he has been in the same job for 18 years straight (rather than a more usual 5 year stint) and also drawing attention to the fact that there was supposed to be a stated age limit in the Constitution for the guy that holds the job.
We also went to a Born Free fund raising dinner and auction to finish off the fibre glass painted Lion project, in aid of Lion conservation. The evening comprised 99.9% speeches, MC-ing and a lion auction (x50 lots in all) that trailed on until after 1am! There was no escaping it. The order of events was printed on a card. Unable to talk much over the tanoy, I ticked off speeches and lots item by item as we went along, the assistant minister of this, the head of KWS, Virginia Mckenna of the film ‘Born Free’ fame (circa 1954?) and founder of the charity. The people sitting on my left and right got thoroughly bored of me. Although the auction was lively and my friend sold her lion for a whopping price which was a brilliant success, my bum was numb after sitting, rooted to the spot for five hours of micro-phone monologues without pause for breath. Even the delicious vegetarian meal did not console me. Hoodwinked by the fundraising machine, a chance to make use of that dance floor or chat amongst ourselves would have been nice for the eye watering price of those tickets. My husband successfully bidded on a de-snaring excursion with KWS rangers at some time in the future - he is extremely excited at the prospect.
Lastly was Sunday’s Remembrance service at the War Memorial, Jamhuri Park. Thank goodness it was dry and sunny. Last year it was heartbreaking to see those painfully thin old Kenyan war veterans with their medals and fly whisks getting soaked to the skin. The highlight for me is always the smart brass band wearing red coats and Colobus Monkey hats and also prayers by representatives of a broad spectrum of religions including Catholic, Sikh and Buddhist monk.