Who is David Matsanga?

David Matsanga is Ugandan National

David Matsanga is a man who changes with the tide. The 62-year-old born in Bududa, then part of Mbale district, fled Uganda in 1986 after President Yoweri Museveni came to power.

Matsanga claims he has a masters degree in Political Sciences and a Phd in Psychology. However, it is not clear if he sat his A level examinations. Colleagues who have been with Matsanga know him as a man who is quick at sniffing opportunities. When Idi Amin was overthrown in 1979, he embraced the new rulers the UNLA Government.

He eventually joined the UPC youth wing and the intelligence service, then called National Security Agency. Around 1983 he was arrested after being suspected of having killed a person during a brawl in a Mbale bar. He 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. Before he was appointed LRA negotiator, Matsanga was a public relations consultant to Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe.

Based in the UK then, he was credited for boosting Mugabe image internationally, especially after his re-election in 2002, through his research outfit called Africa Strategy. Matsanga, however, fell out with Mugabe after he was allegedly tortured in Harare.

David Matsanga, the Chairperson of the Pan African Forum, who wants the presiding judge in the case, Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf, to recuse himself. In his application, Matsanga wants the judge cited for subjudice for allegedly commenting about the Kenya-Somalia case outside court and conflict of interest because he is a Somali national.

Matsanga is apprehensive of a ‘risk of an unbalanced and a biased outcome’ in the case.

“We have interest in the Kenya/Somali case as regional natives of the East and the Horn of Africa,” he said. On the judges’ nationality, Matsanga said, “As a Somali national, his heart falls near Somali,” adding that the judge had been addressing matters pending before the court in forums outside the court.

“As a Pana African Forum, we view these statements as roadside shows that makes the President of the ICJ not fit to preside over the matter between Kenya and Somalia,” he said. He urged Kenya not to take part in the ICJ proceedings, in sentiments shared by petitioners in a case filed in Nairobi,

where a lobby group moved to court seeking to compel Kenya to keep off the matter, in favour of an alternative dispute resolution process. “We call upon the government of Kenya not to take part in the proceedings on September 9, 2019 if the President of ICJ will be on the panel because this will create a miscarriage of justice,” he said.