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By Bernard Wainaina
CEO,Profarms Consultants®

We have a new Kenyan proverb: when life gives you an ICC case, run for president

For Uhuru Kenyatta,Kenya’s President,The ICC is the gift that keeps on giving.

No wonder President Kenyatta is feeling good.

Maybe it is in his best interests that his case remain in limbo so he can always clutch to it whenever he needs to fire up the base.

He finally returned from #ICCStatusConference to a hero’s welcome.

There was a genuine sense of pride on the streets that day, one you would reserve for a
messiah of sorts.

Thousands of people were out in their Kenyan and TNA party colours, smartphones at the ready and wearing their best smiles.

The mood was electric.

Granted, Uhuru is a remarkably charming man with the masses.

In this case, the masses were reciprocating that,
seemingly trying to reassure him that all was well and that he had their unshakeable support.

I have had the privilege of seeing Presidents Moi, Kibaki and Muigai Junior relate with crowds,and I sang for old JOMo during my primary school days, but this still looked extraordinary.

A colleague at work remarked to me how the ICC had been good for the UhuRuto duo. Instead of diminishing their influence and
popularity with the population, it had done the exact opposite.

“It got them elected,” I pointed out to my colleague.

Would a joint ticket of former political foes Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto have won the presidential election without the common
enemy of the International Criminal Court? I doubt it.

Which is why President Kenyatta’s entire The Hague production was a drawn out celebration.

Appointing Ruto as acting president for just 48 hours was rightfully described as a masterstroke, however unnecessary.

His appearance outside the court in The Netherlands was a full-blown festival.

“It was sort of a happy party time!”
emailed a Dutch friend, who was at the ICC’sentrance on the day of status conference.

“It was not exactly what you would expect in a case relating to crimes against humanity.”

That little scene was thanks to the generous sponsorship of everybody’s favourite senator —
Mike Sonko, of course.

The Jubilee coalition’s successful branding of UhuRuto’s ICC cases as a neo-colonialist Western tool to subdue Africans has been as brilliant as it has been effective.

When other democracies would shy away from electing men accused of crimes against humanity to the highest offices in the land, Uhuru and Ruto used that same misfortune as their claim to credibility; playing the victim card all the way to State House.

Along the way, they collected a fanatical support base convinced of both their innocence and claim to executive office.

The public adoration that the “digital boys” attract has probably never been seen since Uhuru’s father and his merry band of freedom fighters delivered independence in 1963.

That they are astonishingly well liked is not in doubt.

How they gained that adulation should be the subject of a thesis I would like to read.

“My brother said that the ICC was his personal challenge,” former acting president William Ruto said repeatedly on that day.

“But we have shown them that it is a personal challenge for 40 million people.”

The crowd went wild.

Every social media post that mentions the opposite duos of Uhuru-Ruto and Raila-Kalonzo inevitably degenerates into a
free-for-all among legions of followers.

While the CORD team enjoys a respectable degree of veneration from their crowd, they don’t have the glue to stick them together like The Hague.

Most political commentators already agree that even today, Uhuru is as good as elected for his second term if he keeps appearing at the ICC.

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

“The African Story as told by Africans”.©African News Digest®

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