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MPs allege plot to remove Uhuru, Ruto from 2012 race

Saturday December 4 2010

Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta (second right) and Cabinet ministers William Ruto and Franklin Bett (right) at  the prayer service for the Molo tanker blast victims held at Afraha Stadium, Nakuru, on Sunday. Photo/ JOSEPH KIHERI

Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta (second right) and Higher Education minister William Ruto at the prayer service for the Molo tanker blast victims held in Nakuru, on February 8, 2009. Photo/ FILE 

By DAVE OPIYO [email protected] and GEORGE MUNENE [email protected]

The presence of International Criminal Court prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo in the country has created a new battlefront in Parliament and new divisions among leaders.

MPs from PNU and ODM allied to Eldoret North MP William Ruto have ganged up to push for the ICC to investigate Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

Legal redress

The legislators argue that the PM called for mass action instead of seeking legal redress when he rejected the results of the 2007 General Election.

“The ICC process is now a weapon to eliminate William Ruto and Uhuru Kenyatta before 2012,” Agriculture assistant minister Kareke Mbiuki stated.

“We know the course the 2007 elections took. If Raila, the person who caused anarchy isn’t among the prosecuted six, we won’t stand for it,” Mr Mbiuki added.

However, the PM’s supporters have rubbished these claims and asked the MPs to respect Mr Odinga.

And on Saturday, PNU’s Industrialisation assistant minister Nderitu Muriithi and his nominated counterpart George Nyamweya said it was ODM that vowed the country will be ungovernable if they were not declared winners.

“It is them who instigated the violence. They should be investigated,” Mr Nyamweya said. The two MPs appeared to be reinforcing the sentiments of 16 PNU MPs, who, while addressing a news conference on Friday at Parliament buildings, also accused the PM of playing a part in the post-election violence.

At the news conference, Kigumo MP Jamleck Kamau also accused Mr Ocampo of “behaving like a politician”, adding that the ICC process has been politicised.

Separately, Ol Kalou MP Erastus Muriithi said that those who were attempting to frustrate investigations did not understand the plight of IDPs. A group of ODM MPs also called a news conference to dismiss the calls against Mr Odinga.

The MPs, who included Justus Kizito (Shinyalu) Rachael Shebesh (nominated), John Mbadi (Gwasi), Yusuf Chanzu (Vihiga), asked their colleagues to stop politicising the matter and let Mr Ocampo do his job.

On Saturday, Nairobi Metropolitan minister Njeru Githae joined the fray and asked Mr Ocampo to expedite the prosecution of those involved in the violence.

Mr Githae accused the prosecutor of  taking too long to have the architects of the poll chaos tried at The Hague.

Forget about the issue

“Now that he has visited Kenya, he should have the suspects arrested or forget about the issue so that the country’s leadership can concentrate on development matters,” he told the press on Saturday at Kutus town during a Kirinyaga County investors conference he had convened.

Mr Githae observed that as campaigns for 2012 were about to begin, any arrests by Mr Ocampo before then would be interpreted as a plot to extinguish the political careers of some of the most popular leaders in the country.

Mr Githae also dismissed as untrue claims by some politicians that the 2007 election was stolen in favour of PNU. He said that debate on the issue should end as the Kriegler report did not say PNU rigged the poll.