Video-Raila allies in crisis meeting over Uhuru

The testimony of Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta at the International Criminal Court blaming Prime Minister Raila Odinga for the post-election violence has caused panic among allies of the Premier.

The PM’s allies went into a post-mortem crisis meeting to discuss the consequences of the direction Mr Kenyatta took in his testimony.

The meeting was prompted by concerns that Mr Kenyatta had adopted a line of defence targeted at ensuring that the ODM leader and presidential hopeful bore ultimate “political responsibility” for failing to refrain his supporters from acts of violence. (READ: Uhuru blames violence on Raila)

Mr Kenyatta’s lawyer, Steven Kay, last week ran video clips before the court capturing Mr Odinga calling for mass action which, he argued, fuelled the 2007/2008 chaos.
Probably because of the high profile State officials involved, the confirmation of charges hearing for the second case has attracted greater national attention — from State House, government offices to villages and hamlets where ordinary Kenyans have been glued to their TV screens monitoring the proceedings from The Hague.
It is understood that President Kibaki has been keenly following the televised hearings from State House in the company of his advisers.
The other suspects in the second case are the President’s permanent secretary and Head of Public Service Francis Muthaura and postmaster-general Hussein Ali who commanded the police force when the violence flared.
Sources familiar with ODM affairs told the Sunday Nation that last week’s meeting was the second one since the ICC confirmation hearings started.
The first one was held during Mr Ruto’s testimony.
According to the respected Indian Ocean Newsletter, the Friday, September 23 crisis meeting was attended by Lands minister James Orengo, joint Government Chief Whip Jakoyo Midiwo, Mr Odinga’s brother and Finance assistant minister Oburu Oginga and Mr Karoli Omondi, the administrative secretary in the Prime Minister’s office.
Mr Odinga, who was in New York when the meeting took place, has been uncharacteristically quiet on the hearings.
“The participants at this meeting were very worried that Kenyatta’s defenders were gathering evidence to show that Odinga should also bear a share of the responsibility for the bloody confrontations in 2008,” says the newsletter.
“Up to then, they had been quite optimistic about Kenyatta’s indictment by the ICC and would, therefore, not run against Odinga in the presidential election. But they are now considering the opposite eventuality.”
Mr Kenyatta’s defence has painted him as a peace maker who was trying to help victims of Odinga-inspired violence, an argument made by the suspect when he took the bull by its horns and faced his accusers on Wednesday.
“He (Mr Odinga) had political responsibility. If he did not hold press conferences using strong language in that period, if he followed due process and went to court and lastly had he used his political voice to tell supporters to stop the violence, the level of violence would not have been what it was,” testified Mr Kenyatta.





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