UHURU’S PLEDGE TO RUTO, SANG ON ICC TRIAL AFTER HIS CASE ENDS
Uhuru and Ruto also declared the ICC case was not a threat to their unity and dismissed those predicting doom for the Jubilee coalition now that the President is a free man.
“We will not stop or relent until we see the end of the remaining cases,” President Kenyatta declared, referring to the ongoing trial of Ruto and journalist Joshua Sang for their alleged role in the 2007- 2008 post-election violence.
“Ukweli wa kesi yangu umepatikana, but hatujamaliza kesi, tuko katikati..tuendelee kuomba (The truth of the case against me has come out, but we are not done yet. Let us continue praying),” he added.
The two leaders spoke at a church event in Embu yesterday, two days after ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda withdrew charges against the President for lack of evidence. The Jubilee leaders sought to counter speculation that the unity of the ruling coalition would be tested by the fact that Ruto and Sang were still on trial.
“Those who sleep and wake up thinking about ICC and the collapse of Jubilee should forget. I am telling them in broad daylight to forget. Their agenda is petty. We have a bigger agenda for Kenya that we want to fulfill. We will manage,” Uhuru said at Embu Anglican Church of Kenya Cathedral, where he joined Ruto to celebrate with newly ordained Bishop David Muriithi.
Ruto termed the withdrawal of Uhuru’s case as a historic moment, arguing his charges were fabricated by some people “but God prevailed and unveiled the truth”.
“We thank Kenyans who have been praying for the President. He will now be in a position to plan for Kenya without being bogged down by the cases. I am happy that I will now have a boss working during my case and I will soon join him in working for the nation when my case collapses,” said Ruto.
Referring to the dropping of charges against the Head of State, Ruto said: “The case collapsed not because witnesses were not there but because he is innocent.”
Earlier, Uhuru attended a mass at Kevote Catholic Church in Embu.
The President said the ICC would not stop the Jubilee administration from implementing its plans for the country. He said those plans include building 10,000km of tarmac roads, increasing power production and irrigating land in dry areas to achieve food security.
“We will strive to ensure justice for the two (Ruto and Sang) is achieved and they are released. I am planning a major thanksgiving for what God has done for me,” Uhuru said.
The Head of State recalled that he had told Kenyans he would carry his own burden if he became their President and all he would need was their prayers and he had kept his word.
He said they came together with other leaders to form Jubilee so they could unite Kenyans.
“We don’t want to see blood shed again for political reasons. We declared that whether we won or lost the election, the most important thing was to bring Kenyans together,” he said.
The President was accompanied by National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi, senators Lenny Kivuti (Embu), Kithure Kindiki (Tharaka Nithi) and Kipchumba Murkomen (Elgeyo Marakwet), and governors Martin Wambora (Embu) and Samuel Ragwa (Tharaka Nithi).
There were also six MPs – Cecily Mbarire, John Muchiri, Muriuki Njagagua, Mutava Musyimi, Kimani Ichungwa and Rose Mitaru.
Prof Kindiki, who is the Senate Majority Leader, said although lawyers represented the President in The Hague-based court, they had put their faith in prayers and succeeded.
“We have now started ‘operation Ruto and Sang back from The Hague’ and we will continue praying for them,” he said.
Wambora, who survived two impeachment motions, claimed he too had experienced the agony the President had faced but prayers had “rescued” both of them.
He said freedom for the President meant he would now be in a position to co-operate with Kenya’s development partners since investors had gained confidence in the country and started implementing projects in the counties. Mr Njagagua said Uhuru had demonstrated humility by leaving his seat to his deputy to attend a status conference in The Hague. Ichungwah recalled that when President Uhuru and other leaders were going around the country praying, pundits doubted them and advised them to seek lawyers.
“The President now bears testimony that prayers work. The ICC motivation was to divide Kenyans along tribal lines and to achieve a political agenda for some. If we continue praying for Ruto and Sang, they too will be released,” he said.
The Intergovernmental Authority on Development on Saturday congratulated President Kenyatta on the withdrawal of the case. In a statement, Igad stood by its March 2011 statement that stated the Kenyan cases were politically motivated.