Orange Democratic Movement legislators on Tuesday demanded the sacking of Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Head of Civil Service Francis Muthaura following the confirmation of charges facing them over post-election violence.
ODM parliamentary group secretary Ababu Namwamba, assistant ministers Alfred Khangati, Josphat Nanok, MPs Martin Ogindo, Rachel Shebesh and Yusuf Chanzu said President Kibaki should adhere to the agreement he signed on December 16 ,2008 and sack the two.
The MPs cited the agreement for the implementation of the Commission of Inquiry into Post-Election Violence signed by President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga in December, 2008.
The agreement states in part: “The parties shall ensure that any person holding public office or any public servant charged with a criminal offence related to 2008 post-election violence shall be suspended from duty until the matter is fully adjudicated upon.”
It adds: “The parties shall ensure that any person convicted of a post-election violence offence is barred from holding any public office or contesting any electoral position.”
The agreement was part of the Kenya National Dialogue and Reconciliation process that ended the 2007-2008 post-election chaos.
The MPs said the agreement binds the two principals to act on Mr Muthaura and Mr Kenyatta and that they should execute it immediately instead of creating unnecessary tension in the country.
Addressing journalists at Parliament Buildings, the MPs criticized President Kibaki’s move to order Attorney General Githu Muigai to form a committee to give an advice on ICC ruling.
“There is no reason for another committee. The matter should have been handled by the sub-committee on ICC chaired by the two principals unless they tell us it has ceased to exist,” said Mr Namwamba who is also the Budalangi MP.
Giving examples of Eldoret North MP William Ruto and Tinderet MP Henry Kosgey, who left their ministerial positions after being charged in court, the MPs said the same should apply to Mr Kenyatta and Mr Muthaura.
The ICC Pre-Trial Chamber on Monday confirmed Mr Kenyatta and Mr Muthaura should face trial over post election violence.
Mr Namwamba’s group said the process to remove Deputy Chief Justice Nancy Baraza was also on.
“Up to now the case against Ms Baraza has not been proved but she has been asked to step aside. The same should apply in ICC cases where public officers are facing serious charges of mass murder, rape and forcefully displacement of people,” Mr Khangati who is Kanduyi MP and an assistant minister in the Office of the Prime Minister said.
The MPs cautioned against politicization of the ICC process and that the transition should not create any panic or uncertainty.
Mr Khangati added that the code of conduct for Cabinet office also requires ministers to resign when charged with an offence.
Mr Khangati, Mr Namwamba, Mr Nanok, Mr Chanzu, Mr Ogindo and Ms Shebesh said leaders should know the country is in a new political dispensation and that there should be fair and equal application of the law.
Speaking separately, the United Democratic Forum Party secretary general Abraham Limo and chairman Osman Hassan said the country needs a fresh start insisting that forgiveness is key to tranquility and peace in the country.
They said that the ICC provides the best opportunity to break with the past saying the institution was only meant for failed states and not sovereign ones like Kenya.
“We call upon all Kenyans to be united in ensuring that the events of 2007/2008 never occur again. As a country, we should seize this opportunity to heal and embark on a fresh start”’ said Mr Hassan in direct allusion to their party slogan “Tuko Fresh!” “Usawa na Haki!”.
Asked to comment whether their party supported the view that suspects run for the presidency despite the confirmation of charges by ICC the leaders preferred to let the constitution address the issue.
“I think we better let the constitution of the land deal with that”, Mr Hassan said.