David Nyekorach Matsanga is a Ugandan born Lawyer, investigative journalist and conflict resolution expert. He is an Anti-ICC advocate who challenged the Hague-based Court for accusing President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto of involvement in the 2007-2008 post-election violence.
He has used his Africa World Media media to expose the International Criminal Court’s weakness when handling cases in Africa.
Here is his story as told by WoK.
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Background & Education
Matsanga was born in Bududa, then part of Mbale district. He attended Shikhuyu Primary School before proceeding to Manjasi High School in 1973.
According to Alfred Musamali, an old boy of Manjasi High School, Matsanga’s father is the late Makuyi Wamema, a former employee of Budada Secondary School. Matsanga’s clan name is Wamema.
“He became Matsanga as a result of the 1970s tradition requiring anybody seeking to repeat P7 to use a different name. When he was registering for S4 exams in 1976, he added the name Nyekorach,” Musamali says as quoted by Ugandan website, New Vision.
According to Musamali, Matsanga failed his ‘O’ level exams.
Matsanga reportedly holds a Masters degree in Political Sciences and a PhD in Psychology. However, New Vision reported that it is not clear if he sat his ‘A’ level examinations.
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His LinkedIn profile which appears dormant indicates that he also studied at the London Metropolitan University.
During an interview with the Standard 8 years ago, Matsanga rubbished the claims that his academic credentials are dubious.
“You can doubt if you want but the school I went to is in London. A very formidable university called Guildhall University, now London Metropolitan University, between 1991 and 1997, where I obtained my master’s degree too. They can give you my student number if you ask them. It’s in London Oldgate East near Tower Bridge. I have a PhD and several honorary degrees. Ask me anything and I will answer. I was interviewed by 14 professors (for the doctorate). The problem is I don’t have white hair, and many here believe you must have white hair to be learned,” he said.
He further refuted the narrative that he got his name after failing in the examinations.
“Our clan is Matsanga and anybody thinking of me failing an exam must be idle. To fail an exam is not a big deal. People do fail exams, but what they do is to make sure they pass them. Did I pass? Yes. Have I made myself up to here? Yes. Why don’t you ask me about Nyekorach? How did I get the name? It’s my rebel name. Just like Museveni is not his real name but rebel name. Garang (John, former South Sudan leader), Salim Saleh (Museveni’s brother), those are war names, not real names. Every refugee and former rebel must have an unreal name. How many passports did Raila forge, under different names? One, Abdalla Hussein, was in the passport we helped him get to Sweden. Do you question that? Why do you question Matsanga?” He posed.
Fleeing Uganda & rebel ties
When Idi Amin was overthrown in 1979, he embraced the new rulers and the UNLA Government. He eventually joined the UPC youth wing and the intelligence service, then called National Security Agency. He was arrested in 1983 after being suspected of having killed a person during a brawl in a Mbale bar according to New Vision.
During the interview with the Standard, he denied the murder allegations terming it misinformation.
“That is a false allegation from which I was cleared by a judge. It was a misconception and rumour. It is not even worth discussing. Right now I am high profile individual travelling in many countries and if I was guilty I could not have been able to do that. I go to Uganda and I meet (President) Museveni. If there was anything of that nature do you think I would be here?” Matsanga posed.
The businessman remained in detention until the Obote government fell in 1985. Upon release from jail, he tried to start a business in his home area, Bududa.
According to reports, he got involved with rebels and tried to overthrow Museveni in the late 1980s. He was the local guide who led ex-army chief-of-staff Opon Acak when the army ambushed them near Bududa Hospital in the late 1980s. Acak was arrested and Matsanga fled into exile in the UK. While in London, he disagreed with Obote supporters such as Joseph Ochieno, creating a gap between him and the UPC members in the diaspora.
He was said to be the official spokesman of the LRA in early 1998 and had ties to Joseph Kony who was the Ugandan rebel leader.
“I have never been a spokesman of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA). I was the spokesman of the Ugandan opposition and LRA happened to be part of the opposition. I was involved in the peace negotiations between LRA and Museveni under Kony’s request but I don’t know him personally,” he said.
Matsanga has maintained a connection with Kenya since 1986 and now fully resides in the country.
The businessman has served in many roles in his career. According to reports, he was once a public relations consultant to late former Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe. At the time, he was based in the UK then. He was credited for boosting Mugabe’s image internationally, especially after his re-election in 2002, through his research outfit called Africa Strategy.
He met Mugabe after he oversaw Zimbabwean elections as an independent observer in 2000 which he said were free and fair. He said Mugabe was one of the most honest presidents on planet earth.
“If he told you he will give you something, he gave you and that is why I liked him.”
Matsanga, however, fell out with Mugabe after he was allegedly tortured in Harare.
Matsanga was also a senior consultant for Sky News for Africa for 10 years before he was terminated for allegedly doctoring an ICC witness list. He was also a practising journalist in the country cleared by the Media Council of Kenya.
He is the founder and chairman of Punchline Africa TV under the Pan African Forum Limited. He is also in the transportation business running trucks between Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya.
The Pan African Forum Ltd is a forum for the defence of Africa and African people on the continent. It was established in September 2012, in Kenya. It constitutes an informal network of African scholars and university student leaders both current and past. It was formed as a lobby group to support the African Union’s objectives on international aspects and other initiatives, at national, sub-regional, regional and international levels.
“I have businesses running between Uganda and Kenya. I have cars and trucks. Several powerful Mercedes and big BMWs…Not those small f**king cars!” He told the Standard.
He also has a fleet of over 27 trucks transporting goods from Mombasa to Kigali and employs only Kenyan drivers.
“It’s tragic that Kenyans view me as an alien yet I am paying and increasing tax here in their country. I have an office that I have rented for ten years in Chester House’s first floor near Voice of America, which is being tapped by the American CIA because VOA is CIA. Go and check. I have four personal assistants who are Kenyans,” he said.
Supporting Uhuru, Ruto in the ICC
Matsanga made it his business to defend President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto and by extension Kenya, against the ‘ills’ of the ICC at the Hague-based court.
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