10 ODM MPs ask Ruto to apologise to Raila

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Raila RutoTEN ODM MPs urged Deputy President William Ruto yesterday to publicly apologize to Cord leader Raila Odinga before asking him to testify on his behalf at the International Criminal Court.

The leaders were reacting to a recent request by Ruto’s URP lawmakers that Raila testify at The Hague in the Deputy President’s defense. Ruto faces charges of crimes against humanity stemming from the 2007-08 post-election violence.

Yesterday the ODM leaders accused some Government officials of trying to “fix” Ruto at the ICC and asked them to retract their statements before Raila can decide what to do.

The ODM leaders also asked Ruto to ensure the people who fixed him and who are still in government are sacked.

The DP’s defense lawyers last year named then Interior Principal Secretary Mutea Iringo and Uhuru’s senior Political adviser Nancy Gitau, both from the Mt Kenya region, as among those out to “get” Ruto and implicate him.

Yesterday, ODM Director of elections and Suna East MP Junet Mohammed told Ruto to first make a public apology to Raila and to Kenyans for misleading them that it was the Cord leader who had made him a defendant at the ICC.

“Ruto must apologize publicly to Kenyans and state clearly that Raila had no role in taking him to ICC,” Junet said.

“As long as that lie that Raila fixed him (Ruto) is still in the air, it is not important to discuss this matter.”

Kisumu East MP Shakeel Shabbir told Ruto not to use proxies to reach out to Raila.

“He should approach Raila himself, instead of using other leaders to do so. This is a serious issue that must be discussed at a higher level,” he said.

Nyakach MP Aduma Owuor said those in Government, including the NIS officers named by Ruto’s defense team as having fixed the DP, must first retract their statements and evidence against him.

Migori women’s representative Danita Ghati said: “The (former) PM (Raila) should not be a witness to anybody. Period. He should give Raila a break after misleading Kenyans about his fixers. He should fight his own wars and stop dragging Raila’s name into them.”

ODM Treasurer and Kitutu Masaba MP Timothy Bosire said it was regrettable that Ruto’s calls for help are coming when the case is nearing conclusion.

“Raila would have been included as an ICC witness in the first stages. It is unfortunate they ignored him and are now engaging in political sideshows,” Bosire said.

Kisumu West MP Olago Aluoch said the URP leaders’ calls for Raila’s testimony demonstrate the defence’s lack of focus.

“They are the same people who alleged earlier that Raila had fabricated evidence to fix Ruto. Any contact must be from either Ruto himself or his ICC legal team, not self-appointed junior politicians. ICC issues must not be politicized,” Olago said.

Muhoroni MP Onyango Koyoo agreed.

“It is DP Ruto who should approach Raila, and not the many political rookies trying to approach him through political rallies,” Koyoo said.

Nominated Senator Elizabeth Ongoro said Ruto must make a formal request to Raila to become one of his ICC witnesses, instead of using political forums to make such advances.

She said Ruto’s finally reaching out to Raila to be a defence witness confirms that he has come to know who his real friends and foes are.

“We all know Ruto was one of Raila’s most trusted lieutenants. They only differed when Ruto decided to chart his own political way. However, the door is not yet closed for him. He can engage Raila in all aspects. I cannot, however, decide for Raila whether to be his witness at the ICC or not,” she said.

Rarieda MP Nicholas Gumbo termed such calls by URP leaders as a “poisoned chalice”.

“I think Raila’s position on the ICC has always been clear. All records, including the Hansard, have maintained his favouring a local process. While I can’t purport to speak for Raila or anybody else, the idea of any Kenyan being tried in a foreign land must always be a revolting proposition,” he said.

Nyando MP Fred Outa said there is no way Ruto’s men can invite Raila to the ICC if the court has not asked him to do so.

“Ruto’s team had goofed in the initial stages. Raila cannot just go to the court before he is summoned, as some of the DP’s handlers are proposing, unless ICC writes to him officially,” he said.

Kasipul MP Oyugi Magwanga read politics in the URP leaders’ change of heart.

“If Ruto had wanted Raila to testify for him at the ICC, he ought to have reached out to him at the initial stages. Otherwise, I see this as a political move,” Magwanga said.

– the-star.co.ke

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