PNU: ICC process ploy to manipulate 2012 poll

Friday March 18 2011

PNU secretary general Kiraitu Murungi during a media briefing at the party's headquarters March 18,2011 where he said the International Criminal Court process in regard to the Ocampo six is a ploy by its coalition partner to manipulate the next elections. HEZRON NJOROGE

PNU secretary general Kiraitu Murungi during a media briefing at the party's headquarters March 18,2011 where he said the International Criminal Court process in regard to the Ocampo six is a ploy by its coalition partner to manipulate the next elections. HEZRON NJOROGE 

By MUCHIRI KARANJA, [email protected]

The Party of National Unity has said the International Criminal Court process in regard to the Ocampo six is a ploy by its coalition partner to manipulate the next elections.

PNU charged that the ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo was being used by the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) to determine the outcome of the 2012 General Election in advance.

“We shall not permit Ocampo to manipulate in advance the 2012 general elections, deny us our fundamental constitutional right and appoint a president by default,” said the party secretary general Kiraitu Murungi during a news conference at PNUs' headquarters in Nairobi.

Flanked by top officials, Mr Murungi asserted that the party would not relent in its push to have the six suspects tried locally.

Vowing that they will push for Kenya to withdraw from the Rome Statute even if The Hague trials begin, PNU echoed party leader President Kibaki,’s argument before the African Union that taking the Ocampo six to the Hague was a threat to national peace.

“Only an irresponsible party would not see this ominous signal that the ICC process may very well undermine justice and collective peace for the nation,” said the party in a statement read by Mr Murungi.

It repeated earlier threats to pull out of the coalition, saying a National Governing Council meeting planned for June this year would pass the final resolution on the matter. The Coalition, the party argues, has paralysed government operations, and slowed the implementation of the Constitution.

"Members will decide whether to continue with this frustrating marriage or whether the time for divorce has come,” said Mr Murungi.

Mr Moreno-Ocampo named Finance minister Uhuru Kenyatta, head of civil service Francis Muthaura, Postmaster General Hussein Ali, MPs William Ruto, Henry Kosgey and radio presenter Joshua arap Sang as those he considers to have borne the greatest responsibility for the violence that left 1,133 dead and 650,000 uprooted from their homes.

The six have been summoned to make an initial appearance at The Hague on April 7 and indicated that they will honour the summonses.

At the same time, the party announced that it would not give direct nominations to its candidates in the Kamukunji by-election.

Instead, the party has invited the Interim Independent Elections Commission (IIEC) to oversee the nominations.

PNU lost the Kamukunji seat in January this year, after the High Court nullified the election of Simon Mbugua, following a successive petition by Ibrahim Ahmed of ODM.

Riding on recent victory in Kirinyaga Central by-elections, the party promised that the nominations for its flag bearer in Kamukunji would be free and fair.

“We learnt lessons in Juja (by-elections), this time we want the people to participate in the nominations,” said Mr Murungi.