For two consecutive days, this newspaper has published an article each day making a case against another article which appeared in a Ugandan publication, Daily Monitor, last week.
The article in question made a bold attempt to weigh issues against the competence of the Hague-based International Criminal Court, wondering whether it “can deliver true justice around the world.” We say bold because as it turned out, even before the author was midway through the task, he had delved into matters in which his own competence was not only being called into question, but was miserably failing.
The brain behind the article is Timothy Kalyegira, who being who he is – a journalist – it might be understandable that he may sound cynical here and there. The problem though is that true journalists know they have limits even in their free world of cynicism.
To borrow his own words: “Lacking balance…” to the extent that his writing “lurches from extreme to extreme” right from his mean rating of Ugandan lawyers’ performance, favourable analysis of Robert Mugabe’s woes, pleading Al Bashir’s case brought against him by the ICC, to the misunderstanding of judicial proceedings regarding culprits of the Rwanda Genocide, is behaviour that will lower the author’s own rating as a journalist.
For example he calls the two French and Spanish judges, infamous for their indictments against senior Rwandan military officers for alleged crimes against humanity, respectable. He calls their “investigations” (one-sided stories heard from people who fled justice) independent, all this in spite of the fact that these judges deliberately violated almost all conventional procedures that govern modern-day justice administration.
They never visited the scene of the alleged crimes; did not seek the cooperation of the Rwanda judicial organs; no sound investigations; and did not find it necessary to hear the so-called suspects’ side of the story.
He sentimentally castigates the widely shared suspicion that France could be behind the manipulations. He bluntly suggests for fairness’ sake – his unique way of balancing things journalistically – that Tutsis must be brought to book as well, but conspicuously adduces no back-up evidence.
Would it sound extreme to suggest that the Genocide revisionism campaign has won itself yet another spin expert, this time not resident in far away West but just next door? Your guess is as good as ours.