Raila Odinga warns Uhuru and Ruto against boycotting ICC trials
Nairobi, Kenya: Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga has hit out at the Jubilee government over the International Criminal Court cases, saying leaders should not incite but unite the country.
He said the challenge facing President Uhuru Kenyatta, his deputy William Ruto and radio journalist Joshua arap Sang at the ICC would not be resolved by abusing the international community.
“We know that there are people who were killed during the postelection violence. There are people who were maimed and thousands of children left orphans. We need to bring Kenyans together first. People should not go round the country making noise yet Kenyans are not united,” said Raila.
Addressing supporters at Kamukunji grounds in Kibra, Nairobi, yesterday, Raila noted that there was need to heal the nation and unite Kenyans. He said the process of ICC should run its course.
In reference to the UN Security Council’s vote on deferral of the cases, the former Premier said this was not the time to blame but to forgive each other.
“Kenyans should forgive each other so that we can have a united nation,” added Raila.
The African Union (AU) had requested the UN Security Council to defer the cases against Uhuru and Ruto for one year to allow them to deal with the security threats posed by Al-Qaeda-linked Somali militants.
However, the 15-member council was split – seven members, including Russia and China, voted in favour, and eight abstained, including France, the US and Britain. Resolutions need nine votes and no vetoes to pass. Britain, France, the US, China and Russia hold veto powers.
The former co-principal in Kibaki’s administration decried insecurity and challenged President Kenyatta to resign if he has failed to curb the rising cases of insecurity.
He recounted how Nyakach MP Aduma Owuor’s parents were killed and asked the Government to assure Kenyans of their security.
“We cannot have Kenyans being killed mercilessly. If they have failed to ensure security for all, then they should resign and let those who can take over,” Raila said.
On the issue of title deeds, Raila called on the Government to give the residents of Kibra the document without discrimination, noting that Kenyans from all walks of life inhabit the area.
He challenged Lands Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu to prioritise the issue so that the residents could develop their plots and construct habitable and affordable houses.
“All tribes are represented in Kibra and everyone has a right to a title deed just like others. Let the Land’s cabinet secretary issue the residents here with title deeds without discrimination,” said the former Premier.
ODM’s nominated Senator Elizabeth Ongoro waded into claims that some members of the Executive coached witnesses to fix Ruto at ICC.
Ongoro told the rally that it was now crystal clear who took Ruto to the ICC and asked the Kibra residents to remain united. “They said it was Raila who took them to ICC, but now the truth is coming out on who fixed Ruto in The Hague. This was just propaganda to tarnish Raila’s name,” said Ongoro.
The two leaders remained confident that Ford-Kenya Leader Moses Wetang’ula would recapture his seat as the Bungoma senator in next month’s by-election.
Meanwhile, Siaya Senator James Orengo has given the Jubilee alliance ten days to name those who fixed the Deputy President at the International Criminal Court, failure to which he would spill the beans.
Mr Orengo said Jubilee knew who had fixed Deputy President William Ruto and he had sufficient evidence to expose those behind the move.
He said President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy are all aware of where all the pieces of evidence came from.
“I dare them to name those who gave false testimonies in the name of fixing the other as it is a criminal offence punishable by law,” said Orengo.
His remarks come in the wake of a simmering row in the Jubilee alliance over claims that Uhuru retained advisors who ‘fixed’ his deputy in The Hague.
Speaking during a fundraiser for St Stephen Anglican Church in Kisumu, Orengo accused the same people of trying to fix Raila as well.-standardmedia