Cord leader Raila Odinga on Tuesday claimed that President Uhuru Kenyatta procured and coached witnesses to fix Deputy President William Ruto at the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Mr Odinga claimed Mr Kenyatta used Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria to obtain and coach witnesses who were to testify against Mr Ruto at the ICC.
Mr Kuria, the Cord leader stated, was an employee and political assistant to Mr Kenyatta at the time.
“Moses Kuria was an employee and a political assistant to Mr Uhuru Kenyatta when he arranged the procuring of witnesses to fix Deputy President William Ruto,” Mr Odinga stated.
He added that Mr Kuria worked for Mr Kenyatta as a political assistant between 2008 and 2014 and was based at the UK Centre at Baden Powell House in Nairobi.
“This is the period when, by Kuria’s own admission, witnesses were being procured against Mr Ruto. The work Kuria did during the course of his employment must be presumed to have been done for and on behalf of his principal, Uhuru Kenyatta,” he went on.
“Uhuru and the Jubilee team cannot claim to be ignorant of what was being done by his own employee Moses Kuria. It is safe to assume that these things were done under his direction. If not, Uhuru must tell the country,” he noted.
President Kenyatta’s spokesman Manoah Esipisu could not be reached for a comment on the allegations.
WAR OF WORDS
The latest allegations are likely to escalate the war of words between Jubilee coalition politicians, led by Mr Kuria and National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale, and Mr Odinga over Mr Ruto’s cases at the ICC.
Mr Kuria has stirred controversy following his claims that it is Mr Odinga, Narc-Kenya leader Martha Karua and Kisumu Senator Prof Anyang’ Nyong’o who conspired to send Mr Ruto to the ICC.
The Jubilee leadership has picked up the claims, with Mr Duale challenging Mr Odinga to tell Kenyans his role in the case facing the deputy president at the ICC.
Mr Odinga and Prof Nyong’o have, however, laughed off the claims but Ms Karua has obtained court orders barring Mr Kuria from linking her to Mr Ruto’s cases.
The claims have also attracted the interest of ICC officials, who have written to Mr Kuria requesting a meeting with him this Friday to interview him on the matter. It is not clear whether Mr Kuria will appear before the ICC officials as a witness or a suspect.
“The time has come for Uhuru to come out and tell Kenyans what his role was in the fixing of his deputy Mr Ruto,” Mr Odinga stated.
“These other machinations disguised as prayers and attempts to drag other people’s names into the witness procuring scheme that was known only to Kuria are only meant to lull Mr Ruto’s supporters and create a false sense of security for them. Uhuru owes Kenyans and his deputy the truth,” he added.
Mr Odinga said it was hypocritical for Mr Kuria to allege that the ODM leadership “fixed” Mr Ruto, whom he described as a “comrade” who represented the party in the negotiations that ended the post-election violence and gave birth to the grand coalition government.
“Mr Ruto was, at that time, a prime target of those who stole the elections. Facts as narrated above make claims by Jubilee a most preposterous proposal and one of the biggest lies ever peddled in our country,” Mr Odinga stated.
He maintained that he firmly supported the formation of a local tribunal to try those who sponsored and unleashed the post-election violence but his efforts failed due to strong opposition from MPs who insisted that those who bore the greatest responsibility for the chaos be tried at the ICC.
“Eventually Kofi Anan handed over the famous (envelope) to the ICC. This was the origin of the ICC cases,” he stated.
He further said that Mr Ruto’s Eldoret backyard bore the brunt of the violence, which he said was sponsored by the State to suppress opposition protests that followed the disputed 2007 elections. Mr Ruto had just been re-elected the Eldoret North MP on an ODM ticket.