Thursday, January 24, 2013

Kibaki, Raila should be on ICC list, says Uhuru

Jubilee Coalition presidential candidate Uhuru Kenyatta has said President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga should be the ones to face trial at The Hague. Photo/FILE

Jubilee Coalition presidential candidate Uhuru Kenyatta has said President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga should be the ones to face trial at The Hague. Photo/FILE  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By DAVE OPIYO [email protected]

Jubilee Coalition presidential candidate Uhuru Kenyatta has said President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga should be the ones to face trial at The Hague.

“I was never a candidate for presidency in 2007, neither was William Ruto,” Mr Kenyatta told Al Jazeera.

“The question (on who must bear responsibility for the violence) must be addressed by the two individuals seeking presidency in 2007”.

The candidates were President Kibaki for the PNU and Prime Minister Raila Odinga for ODM.

He noted that Mr Odinga, his main rival for the 2013 presidential elections, should be held responsible for the violence that rocked the country after the hotly disputed 2007 election.

At least 1,000 people were killed and more than 350,000 other rendered homeless in the violence.

He recounted that when he lost the presidential election against President Kibaki in 2002, he conceded defeat, thereby averting any violence that could have erupted.

Asked whether the PM should have been on the ICC list of those who bore the greatest responsibility for the violence, Mr Kenyatta said: “I am not an investigator but what I do know that Raila Odinga has political responsibility for the chaos that occurred in 2007. I stand by that position.”

Mr Kenyatta dismissed concerns that his alliance with Mr Ruto was aimed at capturing the presidency as a prelude to defying the ICC, insisting it was geared towards leading Kenya along the path of peace and reconciliation.

He accused Western countries planning to impose sanctions on Kenya should he win the elections of pursuing a hidden agenda.

“If you want to impose sanctions on a country because it has followed through and elected its leaders through a democratic process, that puts to question what the interests of those countries are with regard to Kenya,” said Mr Kenyatta.

The Deputy Prime Minister said ICC had its role, but his election would mean that Kenyans question the process that landed them at The Hague.

“I am not saying that international justice doesn’t have a purpose... but if Kenyans do vote for us, it will mean that Kenyans themselves have questioned the process that has landed us at the International Criminal Court. But that does not mean that we will cease to cooperate because as I have said most importantly we understand and recognise the rule of law,” he said.

He also dismissed fears that there would be a power vacuum should he and Mr Ruto win and then have to attend trial at the Hague.

“Kenya is not a banana republic,” said Mr Kenyatta.

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