Radio presenter in unfamiliar territory

January 23, 2012 8:04 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 23 – Vernacular radio station Kass FM’s presenter Joshua arap Sang is among six key suspects awaiting the verdict of the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) Pre-Trial chamber.

He was born in 1975, in Kitale, Rift Valley Province. He attended Seum Primary School and later Kitale Academy for his secondary school education.

In December last year, Sang graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications from Moi University.

Arap Sang, as he is popularly known by his radio fans, presents a breakfast show called Lene Emet (Kalenjin for what is the world saying).

Sang was a shock inclusion in the list of six suspects that was released by ICC prosecutor Louis Moreno Ocampo, a list which included three powerful politicians and two State employees.

Sang, a father of two who is neither a politician nor a state agent was hardly known at the time outside the audience of his early morning show.

His profile has however been heightened with the ICC process with the name Sang becoming a household name all over the country.

He is accused of having aired programmes before and during the 2008 violence, which may have led to incitement at the time of the violence.

Sang is the Head of Operations at the Station. Before joining Kass, he had worked at Sayare FM and Bibilia Husema radio.

He is alleged to have been a member of a network that planned attacks in Rift Valley and he is said to have been the mouth piece that announced on radio giving directions and locations of the attacks.

By virtue of his influence in his capacity as a Kass FM radio broadcaster, Sang allegedly contributed in implementation of the common plan by: placing Kass FM at the disposal of the organisation, advertising the organisation’s meetings and fanning violence by spreading hate messages and explicitly revealing a desire to expel the PNU supporters.

As such he is facing three charges murder, forcible transfer of populations and persecutions.

Sang is the only one getting financial support for his legal team from the court after he said he could not afford to hire a defence team.

Legal aid accorded to Sang by the International Court following his application is estimated to be up to Sh3.6m per month.

However the funds did not come easy as the court conducted a background check on Sang to establish whether he could pay his legal costs.

He was engaged in fundraising activities to raise his travel, accommodation and legal expenses as he prepared to attend summons at The Hague-based court.

During the first fundraiser in Eldoret he managed to raise Sh500,000 while his employer contributed Sh1 million.

His second fundraiser was held at the Railways Club in Nairobi.

Sang will learn his fate when he is in quite good health as opposed to his initial court appearance where he attended proceedings with a fractured arm.

He got hurt when he fell from the top of a car after an enthusiastic fan embraced him.

Sang is represented at the ICC by lawyers Katwa Kigen and Kimutai Bosek.


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