James Magayi, Seth Mwaniki and DPPS
Two governors and 15 legislators from Mt Kenya region and elsewhere yesterday told off the International Criminal Court (ICC) over a report that it could reopen the case against Deputy President William Ruto.
They attributed the report to unnamed leaders who they claimed are against Kenya’s development but warned that no underhand tactics would stop Ruto from becoming the next President.
The legislators further said nothing would sever the ties between President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy, saying their leadership had changed the face of Kenya.
“These so-called ICC reports are not coming from heaven but from within. Those propagating it are enemies of the people. But no evil scheme will stop an idea whose time has come,” said Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichung’wa.
His Kiharu counterpart Ndindi Nyoro said any plans to have the case revived would fail, adding that the DP would prevail in his ambition to succeed Uhuru despite obstacles being placed on his way.
“We know who took you to ICC together with President Uhuru Kenyatta. Same persons are now using the same tactics by purporting that they have new evidence incriminating you. We want to tell them they will not succeed,” said Nyoro
The MPs were responding to a recent ICC report to the 73rd UNGA (United Nations General Assembly) in New York which revealed that prosecutor Fatou Bensouda had received additional evidence that could revive the case against the DP and journalist Joshua arap Sang.
The crimes against humanity charges against Ruto and Sang were vacated through majority decision in 2016 owing to lack of evidence but the judges rejected defense application of total acquittal, meaning the case can be re-opened should new evidence emerge.
But yesterday, while speaking at Kagaita PCEA Church in Tetu Constituency where Ruto was presiding over a fundraiser, the MPs dismissed reports of fresh investigations and alleged his opponents were behind them.
Migori governor Okoth Obado said the ICC would be defeated through prayers.
“This is a matter that we can easily address at the alter. I too, have an issue and I’m sure you will pray for me as you pray for the Deputy President so that we can overcome these challenges,” the governor, has been charged with murder of Migori University student Sharon Otieno and her unborn baby, told the congregation.
“You were taken in The Netherlands with the President, you emerged victorious. You will still emerge a winner in these witch-hunts and eventually be our President,” said Tetu MP James Gichuhi.
Other leaders present included Governors Mutahi Kahiga (Nyeri), legislators Anthony Kiai (Mukurweini), Rigathi Gachagua (Mathira), Rahab Mukami (Woman Rep, Nyeri), Gichuki Mugambi (Othaya) and Sylvanus Osoro (South Mugirango).
Others were Michael Muchira (Ol Joro Orok), Richard Tongi (Nyaribari Chache), Kanini Kega (Kieni), Jayne Kihara (Naivasha), Patrick Mariru (Laikipia West), Samuel Gachobe (Subukia), Githua Wamacukuru (Kabete) and Wangui wa Ngirici (Woman Rep, Kirinyaga). Ngunjiri Wambugu of Nyeri Town constituency was also present.
But the DP steered clear of the ICC talk and instead stressed the need for all to concentrate on development matters.
“The only way to move this nation forward is to ignore all attempts to distract us. We have promised Kenyans a lot and we can only deliver if we remain committed and focused to this cause,” he said.
Kahiga said the development being experienced today was a product of the close ties between the President and his deputy, and as such, “no one will accept any cat-and-mouse games” meant to divert the two leaders’ attention from their development plans.
“The Kenyatta-Ruto union is what Kenya yearned for. They have changed our politics to a development-oriented one. That is the kind of leadership that would make future generations benefit,” said Obado.
Osoro said the 2022 presidential race “is a done deal”.
“In Kisii, we have made a firm decision. It is development and more development. We are beyond the empty story-telling schemes. I urge Mt Kenya to remain steadfast with Ruto so that we can change the face of Kenya,” said Osoro.