21 MPs skip induction to accompany William Ruto and Joshua Sang

Monday September 9 2013

Mr Johnson Sakaja, the chairman of  The National Alliance (TNA). He is understood to have travelled to China at the invitation of the ruling Communist Party of China and will thereafter fly to The Hague. Photo/FILE

Mr Johnson Sakaja, the chairman of The National Alliance (TNA). He is understood to have travelled to China at the invitation of the ruling Communist Party of China and will thereafter fly to The Hague. Photo/FILE NATION

NATION REPORTER
By NATION REPORTER
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Twenty-one MPs will miss the four-day induction workshop for the National Assembly that began at the Leisure Lodge in Diani, Kwale County, on Monday.

The legislators accompanied Deputy President William Ruto to The Hague court for Tuesday’s start of his trial.

The group comprises the first batch of the 80 legislators who have agreed to travel to the International Criminal Court to express solidarity with Mr Ruto.

TRAVELLED TO CHINA

Led by Majority Leader Aden Duale, the MPs — six from the United Republican Party, 13 from The National Alliance, one from the United Democratic Front and one from the Wiper Democratic Movement — left early on Monday.

TNA chairman Johnson Sakaja is understood to have travelled to China at the invitation of the ruling Communist Party of China and will thereafter fly to The Hague.

Senate Majority Leader Kithure Kindiki said four Senators who were to accompany Mr Ruto — Charles Keter, Kipchumba Murkomen, Lenny Kivuti and Beatrice Elachi — had been asked to delay their trip by a day to attend the special sitting set for Tuesday afternoon.

Overall, said Prof Kindiki, Senators travelling to The Hague “will be in small groups for a few days” so that the business of the Senate does not stop.

The Cord leadership is also bound to note that one of its own — Mr Charles Nyamai (Kitui Rural, Wiper) — is part of the entourage.

An MP from the Orange Democratic Movement told the Nation last week that Cord would have to invoke the provisions of the Political Parties Act to punish members who support the ICC suspects.

But Cord leader former Prime Minister Raila Odinga already cleared the way for opposition MPs to do as they please regarding the visits to The Hague.

“If someone wants to go to The Hague, why should we tie someone’s hand… what crime will that person be committing?” asked the former premier. When they were first summoned to the ICC in April 2011, Mr Ruto and President Kenyatta were accompanied by about 41 MPs.

And like in 2011, the MPs will foot their own travel and accommodation expenses.

They will be confined to the public gallery accessed through the rear of the ICC building.