The 'Ocampo Six' list turned my life upside down - Joshua Arap Sang

On December 20, 2015 former Kass FM presenter Joshua Arap Sang's life turned upside down when he was named by former ICC Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo as part of the 'Ocampo Six'. Due to this case, Sang not only lost his job but also had a hard time explaining to his family what had hit him. He spoke to Cate Mukei about his tribulations and journey to victory

Where were you when the ‘Ocampo Six’ list was released?

I was in my boss’ office at Kass FM. Just like everyone else, I was curious to find out who was on the list. I was shocked when I heard my name. It was terrifying and I thought it was a bad dream.

Did you imagine your name would be on the list?

Never! However, a few days before, Deputy President William Ruto had called me but wasn’t sure about it. He had heard about it through rumours and speculations. I however did not expect it to turn out to be true. After all, I was just a normal radio presenter.

What was going through your mind?

At first, I just laughed. But, reality sunk and I was a bit confused. I wondered whether (Moreno) Ocampo (former Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court) was really serious when he included me on that list.  I was just a radio presenter who hosted and dealt with big names in politics.

How did your family and friends take the news?

It was a sad time for them too. They were shocked and thought it was a bad joke. The court process was the most gruelling. I missed the graduation ceremony of one of my daughters and to date, she still reminds me about it.

She has never understood why I could not be there on her big day. My parents too were very worried. I have never been arraigned in a court of law before. The International Criminal Court (ICC) was the first time for me to appear before a court of law.

What about your wife?

My wife suffered so much. First, she does not like being in the limelight. This case put her on the spot.  Any time my three young children saw Ocampo on TV, they would ask: “You want to go to The Hague? Kumbe unatudaganya na huku unaenda Hague (you are just lying to us, yet you are going the The Hague).”

How was your first day at The Hague?

It was on April 6, 2011. I met big wigs from the government for the first time. Most of them had come to give us moral support.

At some point, Francis Muthaura, Mohammed Ali and Henry Kosgey were cleared of the charges. Only you, President Uhuru and DP William Ruto remained. How did you feel?

It was quite intimidating. There I was, a small fish among heavyweight politicians.

 

During the last election, you briefly showed interest in politics and even endorsed Raila. Are you planning to join politics?

I am still listening to the voices of voters and hope to make a decision soon. I am shocked some are even inviting me to contest for the Senate seat in Uasin Gishu. Time will tell!

How did this case affect your life?

It brought my life to a halt. I had to abandon my career and resign from my job.  You can imagine, if I applied for a job while the matter was pending before the ICC, how could the employer evaluate my situation? Even coworkers would be uncomfortable. That is why I resigned from Kass FM. It was very painful to broadcast internationally as an ICC suspect, yet I was innocent.

How did it feel when your case was vacated?

I felt a heavy burden lifted off my shoulders and life. Those were the most gruelling six years of my life. You can imagine how it felt to wake up every day wondering what the court would decide. Not knowing my fate was quite distressing.

Have you forgiven your accusers?

Yes. I also expect them to seek forgiveness if they wish to inherit the Kingdom of God.

What are you currently doing?

I am planning to start a TV and FM radio station with some partners.


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