Jubilee leaders Saturday issued a stinging criticism of Western nations they say were responsible for the collapse of the move by the African Union to have the Kenyan cases at the ICC postponed for a year.
The attack on the decision by the UN Security Council to reject the deferral of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s and Deputy President William Ruto’s cases in The Hague dominated Jubilee rallies.
Speaking at a meeting in Kericho, Mr Ruto said he was not surprised by the Security Council’s outcome.
Mr Ruto, who described the resolution as “a side issue”, said it was a clear testimony of who the true friends of Kenya were as more than 35 MPs who accompanied him heavily criticised the UN Security Council members who abstained from the Friday vote and forced the deferral bid to collapse.
“We are saying what happened yesterday is a clear testimony of genuine friends who can stand with us when it is shining or raining. We thank them for standing with us. We have a plan … we will work and endure any difficulties,” he said.
“They say adversity is the mother of invention. We will sort these things out as they are side issues. We can now say we have genuine, legitimate and consistent friends. We can now work with them and the rest of world to ensure there is peace in our region and country,” he said.
Mr Ruto spoke at a thanksgiving ceremony for Bureti MP Leonard Sang at Litein East School as it emerged that the UK prefers video technology to cushion President Kenyatta and Mr Ruto from the constraints of physical appearance in court.
The same subject featured in two other rallies in Bomet and Transmara where the Deputy President attended other thanksgiving meetings.
Mr Ruto said he and President Kenyatta were not shaken by the resolution as they were clear they will triumph in the end.
The MPs allied to the Jubilee Coalition criticised countries that blocked the postponement of the cases as requested by the African Union.
The eight Security Council members who collapsed the move used the backhand method of abstaining from the vote.
Leader of Majority in the National Assembly Aden Duale turned the heat on former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, accusing him of being behind “a well-orchestrated international plot” to have President Kenyatta and Mr Ruto jailed by the ICC.
Speaking in Litein, Kericho County, Mr Duale said the plan was meant to deny the two leaders a chance to govern the country.
“The international push to throw Kenyatta and Ruto into jail was started by none other than Kofi Annan so that somebody else can become president of Kenya. It is time for Kenyans to learn the truth,” he said.
“The Hague issue has local and international investors. The ones who abstained were international investors. You know who the local investors are,” he told the crowd at the function.
Mr Duale led MPs and two governors at hitting out at those who abstained, accusing them of being “cowardly and unfriendly” with the angry leaders unleashing their wrath on the US, Britain and France.
Mr Duale accused the three nations of masterminding the failure of the deferral bid and called on President Kenyatta and Mr Ruto to stop conducting any business with them.
“We have known who our friends are and who we will do business with. The rest can look for business elsewhere because we shall have no business with our enemies,” he said.
The leaders spoke as it emerged that London had dispatched an official to Nairobi to try and appease the Kenya government over the goings-on in New York.
Deputy National Security Adviser at the Cabinet Office Oliver Robbins met Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary Karanja Kibicho in the company of British High Commissioner to Kenya Christian Turner on Wednesday and said that Britain favoured avenues such as the use of video link “to free” President Kenyatta and Mr Ruto from the constraints they face in the discharge of their duties while attending trial.
According to Mr Kibicho, Mr Robbins stated that the British Government recognised President Kenyatta and Mr William Ruto and their constitutional obligations to the people of Kenya.
“Mr Robbins delivered the message from the UK government on the need to free the President and his deputy from attending their trial and instead leave their lawyers to continue with the case in The Hague. He pointed out that, in order to achieve this goal, the British diplomats in New York have been instructed to lobby for the best solution including the use of available technologies such as video links,” Mr Kibicho added.
The Sunday Nation learned of the Wednesday meeting as leaders across the country gave differing opinions on how the President and his deputy should proceed following the collapsed deferral bid.
Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale said the President should not skip trial and should continue to cooperate with the ICC.
His Homa Bay counterpart Otieno Kajwang said: “Go to The Hague, clear your name and come back other than drag all Kenyans into the mess of non-appearance. (Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary) Amina Mohamed must be realistic in her shuttle diplomacy.”
Siaya Senator James Orengo said the solution to the problem would only be found at the ICC and added that the Security Council decision confirmed so.
Funyula MP Paul Otuoma said President Kenyatta should not feel as though the cases were driven by malice. He said the President should face the cases “like a man”.
At the Jubilee rallies, leaders maintained hostile positions with Mr Duale accusing the US of practising impunity, noting that despite the nation’s forces having killed innocent civilians in foreign countries across the globe, none of its leaders had been taken before a court.
At the same time, the Garissa Town MP warned those who were waiting for the government to collapse due to the ICC cases to stop dreaming and urged Kenyans to pray for the two leaders to win the cases.
Mr Ruto said that he and President Kenyatta would work with the UNSC resolution, terming it a result of too much politics that has surrounded the ICC cases.
Nairobi Women’s Representative Rachael Shebesh kicked off the debate with what she called modern-day colonisation in her criticism of the Security Council decision.
Mrs Shebesh said Kenya was among the most respected countries on the African continent noting, however, that the ICC cases were hanging over this fact.
She added that she had greatly been embittered and disappointed by the US decision to abstain from the vote, accusing it of betrayal, considering that Kenya had gone through a lot of problems including terrorist attacks in the past because of the relationship shared by the two countries.
The legislator added that President Kenyatta and his deputy had not asked for too much in requesting for a deferral, noting that they had already expressed their willingness to cooperate with the ICC.
ing with the Hague-based court until their cases were finalised.
She now wants the Jubilee government to reconsider its links with the countries which did not back the deferral bid accusing them of “arrogance and belittling a sovereign state.”
“We will sit down and go back to the drawing board and see why we put our energies as a country to help countries which hold back their help when we need it. Development cannot be brought by leaders who are forever behind the dock,” she said.
Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen and his Kericho Counterpart Charles Keter said they were “shocked” by the decision and accused the UK and the US of being fair weather friends.
Kericho Governor Prof Paul Chepkwony said the ICC cases have too much lies and predicted that the ICC judges hearing the cases will soon throw them out.
Emurua Dikirr MP Jonah Ng’eno argued that abstention by the 8 member states was a sign of their enmity to Kenya and called on President Kenyatta and Mr Ruto to consider shifting trade links to focus more on friends and leave out the “enemies of Kenya.”
“One day we shall get a perfect opportunity to return the favour,” he warned.
Kieni MP Kanini Kega expressed confidence that Kenyatta and Ruto would prevail over the ICC cases, adding that the two leaders were innocent of all the claims made against them.-nation