Outside the Box
Hague: No bravado this time round
Suspects, lawyers, the lot: They all talk about ugali
Ugali or lack of it inevitably starts dominating conversation whenever a large gathering of Kenyans meets abroad and the situation has not been different for the journalists, lawyers, suspects, supporters and relatives spending time in The Hague.
This time, the conversation is not centred on the high price of maize flour back home or the shortages necessitated by the drought back home. It is about lack of ugali.
Ugali seems to unite Kenyans when they are abroad.
One TV crew from Nairobi carried maize flour from home and since they are staying in an apartment the luxuries of proper Kenyan tea and real food can be enjoyed while the rest of the group survives on bread as a substitute for ugali.
Full disclosure as the courts would say... The writer traces his ancestry from western Kenya.
Two dozen Kenyan journalists dispatched from Nairobi
The media centre at the International Criminal Court has been turned into little Nairobi with Kiswahili the preferred lingua franca.
There are 25 journalists flown in from six media houses in Nairobi and many more crews from other media houses or reinforcements are expected in the next few days.
There are teams from Nation Media Group, The Standard Group, K24, the People, Kass TV and Royal Media from Nairobi.
The BBC has sent a crew from its Swahili service and Network Africa from London. A second team from a local London radio station has also been dispatched to The Hague for the case.
The media interest in the case is in sharp contrast to that shown in the other case involving suspects from the Democratic Republic of Congo and which has been going on for a long time at The Hague.
As an example, on Thursday morning, and with the DRC case progressing, the media centre was still dominated by journalists from Kenya and international media representatives covering the case.
A German TV documentary maker is in the Hague covering the massive interest in the Kenyan case by both Kenyan and international media.
Only two MPs? Why four months is a long time in Kenyan politics
In April when the six Ocampo suspects, Uhuru Kenyatta, William Ruto, Henry Kosgey, Francis Muthaura, Hussein Ali and Joshua Sang made their initial appearance before the ICC, they were escorted by 40 MPs who turned the area around the court into a little Kenyan parliament.
At that time, the National Anthem was sung by the MPs who waved miniature Kenyan flags and some wore T-shirts in the national colours to show their patriotism.
This time, the three suspects who are facing confirmation of charges hearings have been escorted by two MPs, Charles Keter and Zakayo Cheruiyot, who are more muted this time round.
There has been no singing of the National Anthem outside the court and the two men who carried placards denouncing the ICC at that time are mysteriously absent.
For the average Dutch whose city, The Hague, is hosting the court considering whether to commit the six Kenyan post-election violence suspects to full trial, events happening around them are strange.
One middle aged man riding his bicycle to work gathered the courage to stop and politely ask what all these people were doing around Maanweg, 174; 2516 AB, the ICC address.
Informed that this was the International Criminal Court and that there was case about to proceed, he wondered whether this was the Sierra Leone case and whether Taylor was the suspect expected to appear. No, he was told.
This is actually a case involving Kenya.
“What has been going on there?” he posed.
“It is about our post election violence nearly five years ago,” came the answer.
“Ooh! I heard about that.”