David Nyekorach Matsanga

David Nyekorach Matsanga is a Ugandan Lawyer, Investigative Journalist and Conflict Resolution expert. He is a former Ugandan rebel group Lord’s Resistance Army spokesperson and Zanu PF public relations consultant who emerged from the woodwork to cobble together a dubious survey which claimed President Emmerson Mnangagwa was going to win 70% of the vote if elections were to be held on 1 June 2018 ahead of the make-or-break polls which were held on 30 July 2018.

Background

Matsanga has in the past been hired as a public relations consultant for the late former President Robert Mugabe. Based in the UK then, he was tasked to revamp Mugabe’s battered image internationally, especially after his disputed re-election in 2002, through his research outfit called Africa Strategy. As part of his services as Zanu PF spin-doctor, Matsanga authored a book titled, Why I Support Mugabe. He also wrote a column in the state-run The Herald which first published his survey in June 2018 without linking it to him. He, however, fell out of favour with the regime and was barred from entering the country in 2004.[1] Nyekorach is his rebel name just like Museveni is not his real name but rebel name.

He is a Pan-African who has been on forefront in the fight against International Criminal Court (ICC) on Kenya Cases where President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto are accused of fueling 2007 election violence. He is also remembered for negotiating Peace talks between the Ugandan government and LRA Kony rebels that saw northern Uganda returning to peace after 26 years of fighting.

Education

He attended Guildhall University, now London Metropolitan University, between 1991 and 1997, where he obtained his master’s degree. He has a PhD and several honorary degrees.

Career

In his early 60s, Matsanga first came to prominence after the fall of former Ugandan president Apollo Milton Obote of the Uganda Peoples Congress, a regime he served as a security operative working with the National Security Agency (NASA). He later fled into exile in the United Kingdom, where he reportedly embarked on academic pursuit, attaining a Doctorate. At the time he also tried his hand in politics, opposing the National Resistance Movement (NRM/A) government. Between 2006 and 2008, Mr Matsanga was part of warlord Joseph Kony’s delegation to the Uganda peace talks that were chaired by embattled former South Sudan Vice President Dr Riek Machar.

Since then he has been an on-and-off confidant to several embattled African leaders including the late Mugabe (Zimbabwe), Bashir (Sudan) and most recently Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya.

He was a senior consultant for Sky News for Africa for 10 years before his contract got terminated after the ICC prosecutor claimed he doctored the witness list. He is also a practicing journalist in this country cleared by Media Council of Kenya.

He was Robert Mugabe's public relations guy through his three companies. 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."

He said he has never been a spokesman of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) but was the spokesman of the Ugandan opposition and LRA happened to be part of the opposition. He was involved in the peace negotiations between LRA and Museveni under Kony’s request but he doesn’t know him personally.[2]

Business

Matsanga is the founder and chairman of Punchline Africa TV under the Pan African Forum Limited. He is also into transportation business running truck between Uganda and Kenya.

His Relationship with Robert Mugabe

Known for his outrageous and vocal opposition to the Kenyan cases at the International Criminal Court (ICC), David Nyekorach Matsanga, talked to The Nairobian in 2015 about his relationship with the late former Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, his ‘multimillion’ truck business and how he “picks perfumes of African presidents.”

Passionate about Kenyan matters whilst he is Ugandan

When asked why he was so passionate about matters Kenyan when he was Ugandan and also living in Kenya he said, "you should know if Kenya burns, Uganda burns. We get our food and goods from Kenya. I am also a taxpayer here so I have a right to speak my mind. I live in Kenya yes, but I won’t say where for security reasons. I don’t have bodyguards since I have been a soldier since 1979. So if you come for me be ready for a fight."

Controversy

He claims people ran a false allegation of him having killed a man in a bar in Mbale (Ugandan Town) back in 1983 and he said he was cleared from those allegations by a judge. He said it was a misconception and rumour. He said he was now a high profile individual travelling in many countries and if he was guilty he could not have been able to do that. He said he goes to Uganda and meets (President) Museveni.

He also said that he carries poison detectors to check his food and drink wherever he goes. He said it is a simple pen that he dips in the food and it changes colour. It detects what is in the food or drink. It is just like the alcoblow. He also claimed that he always has one of his pens looking at journalists from his pocket and recording as they talk. That’s how he blew up the ICC witness number four.

Money Laundering Allegations

David Nyekorach Matsanga is not new to controversy and mention of his name reverberates like an echo in several African cities, carrying with it imaginations of the glitterati. Matsanga, who led Joseph Kony’s delegation to the peace talks with Uganda between 2006 and 2008, is known as a Mr-fix-it, and has had close connections to among others Zimbabwe President Robert Gabriel Mugabe and Sudan president Omar Bashir, but in 2016 he was linked to accusations of forgery, bribery and money laundering, in relation to the accusations he made against International Criminal Court (ICC) President, Ms. Silvia Fernández de Gurmendi.

According to the ICC, ‘Matsanga forged invoices and bank statements, and named bank account holders who either do not exist or do not come from the country he cited’. He claimed that the ICC president discreetly received more than US$17 million from Sudanese organisations to bribe witnesses for the court to indict Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir. Mr Matsanga has been a vocal anti-ICC activist and has accused the court of using its processes to punish African leaders, including Mr Bashir.[3]




References

  1. Kudzai Kuwaza, [1], Zimbabwe Independent, Published: 1 June, 2018, Accessed: 8 February, 2021
  2. Mwaura Samora, [2], The Standard, Accessed: 8 February, 2021
  3. [3], Eagle Online, Published: 8 August, 2016, Accessed: 8 February, 2021