The plot is being rolled out through international lobbying, political pressure and a search for divine intervention.
The lawmakers are drafting a petition to the United Nations (UN) and the Assembly of State Parties (ASP) to push for independent investigations into sensational claims of witness-coaching and evidence-fixing. These two issues have been the main message in the now popular prayer rallies.
But the Opposition wants President Uhuru Kenyatta to ban the prayer rallies, arguing that they are “a waste of time and public resources” and that they (the rallies) “are polarising the country and stocking ethnic tensions”.
In their response, Jubilee leaders have maintained that as long as the ICC keeps pursuing Ruto, the prayers will continue. David Pkosing’ (Pokot South) will be seeking signatures from “at least 100 MPs” to petition the UN and the ASP to hear the Jubilee position that the Ruto-Sang case should be thrown out on the basis of “cooked evidence”.
“Even as we pray, we have to act… that petition is the action. It is time to do the right thing. If the UN and the ASP ignores what we are saying on procurement of witnesses, it will be very clear that there were ulterior motives… You can’t say Ruto and Sang’ caused all that chaos in Mombasa, Kisumu, Naivasha… ,” Pkosing told The Standard on Sunday.
The MP’s initiative ties up with the plan by the chairman of the Justice and Legal Affairs Committee Samuel Chepkonga to open investigations into how the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Post-Election Violence (popularly known as the Waki Commission) did its work. It is this commission that compiled a list of suspects believed to bear the greatest responsibility for PEV and handed the list to then ICC Prosecutor Moreno Ocampo.
“When we are done with our work, it will be a resolution of the Parliament of Kenya… you cannot ignore such a resolution,” said Chepkonga.
The goal is to influence the opinion of the ASP and the UN to believe that the cases against Ruto and Sang’ should be dropped because “the two were fixed”.
While the Jubilee MPs want to keep going around the country drumming up support for their anti- ICC rhetoric, their Opposition colleagues are wary, not only because of the perceived rise in ethnic tensions, but also a deepening division based on political persuasion.
MPs allied to CORD see the revival of the prayer rallies as an attempt by Jubilee to whip up ethnic emotions and use the prayers as the Launchpad for electoral campaigns ahead of the 2017 polls. But Jubilee MPs insist the prayers are only meant to foster national reconciliation and seek divine intervention in th
National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale and Senate Deputy Majority Leader Charles Keter have dismissed claims by CORD that the rallies are dividing the country and inciting communities.
“These prayers are meant to achieve three major objectives; seek divine intervention for the case facing our Deputy President and Joshua Sang, seek national reconciliation and pray for the unity of the country,” said Duale. “If they tell us to stop the prayers, we are wondering where they want us to seek divine help for this country. Are they telling us to try witchcraft?”
Duale insisted that they would not stop the prayers, saying they believe it is important for them to pray for Ruto and for justice to be done.
“If we feel that the prayers are our weapon, the Opposition should allow us to go on. Why would anyone feel threatened that we have agreed on congregating to pray?” argued the Majority Leader.
Senator Keter maintained that The Hague-based court is not genuine in prosecuting the cases against Ruto and Sang’, arguing that it is only in the Kenyan cases where the Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has insisted on using recanted statements and force witnesses to testify.
He regretted that the entire Kalenjin community has been condemned; after the prosecution alleged that it planned and raised funds to cause chaos.
“The violence was experience countrywide, did the Kalenjin organise violence all over? Many people died from gun shots. We have held the prayers in Rift Valley and Mt Kenya region. This weekend we are in Meru and next week we will be in Narok,” said Keter.