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Ruto: ICC should first try those who rigged elections – (But Ruto should know that leaders who incited youths to violence are spending sleepless nights after the envelope was given to Mr Ocampo according to Deputy Prime Minister Mudavadi)

Posted by African Press International on July 12, 2009

ByPETER NGETICH and ERICK NGOVILO

Agriculture Minister William Ruto on Sunday said politicians who manipulated the 2007 General Elections results should be the first to be tried by the International Criminal Court.

Opposing the formation of local tribunal, Mr Ruto who rooted for post-election violence suspects to be tried at the Hague said it is the stealing of the elections that sparked the violence.

“The first move the ICC should consider is to try the people who planned to rig the elections leading to the countrywide violence,” Mr Ruto said.

He said Kenyans know the reason why there was post-election violence but PNU politicians had made it as though some personalities were responsible for it.

“The simple reason why there was violence after the election is because there was rigging but some people had made it as though some individuals were the masterminds,” Mr Ruto said.

Mr Ruto read malice in push for a local tribunal saying it targeted ending the careers of some potential presidential candidates.

Saying it was a relief that former UN chief Kofi Annan had handed over the envelope to ICC, Mr Ruto who was accompanied by MPs Benjamin Langat, Julius Kones, Elijah Lagat and Fred Kapondi said in Mt Elgon that the ICC should move in with speed and conduct independent investigations since the Justice Philip Waki led commission “did not do a thorough job.”

In Sabatia, Deputy Prime Minister Musalia Mudavadi said he was not surprised by the handing over of the envelope to ICC.

The Local Government minister said the debate over where the suspects should be tried created unnecessary tension in the country.

“When Parliament adopted the Waki report, without making any amendments, it would have been very clear from the beginning that the options were limited,” he said.

Mr Mudavadi said leaders who incited youths to violence were spending sleepless nights after the envelope was given to Mr Ocampo.

“When I went around urging youths to desist from engaging in violence, people said I was a coward but you can now see that there are those who are being haunted by what they did during the post election,” he added.

He said although the issue of trying the suspects had put the country into a difficult situation, the matter had to be addressed to avoid plunging the country into an uncertain future.

Elsewhere, Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetang’ula and his Planning counterpart Wicliffe Oparanya said the ICC was meant for failed states but Kenya is not.

“International criminal justice system offers local remedies, nobody can call Kenya a failed state,” said Mr Wetangula, adding that Mr Ocampo cannot arrest perpetrators of the violence as there has to be references and witnesses.

He said in Kilifi that the country has a government, parliament and a judicial system that can deal with issues affecting it.

The Hague, according to Oparanya is not a better option because no citizen from a sovereign state in Africa has faced trial at that court before and it would be a mockery to our independence as a state.

He cited the example of Liberia where former President Charles Taylor explaining that he was tried at the international court because the country had no government in charge.

“Even a Rwandan was taken there, but it was during the time there was a vacuum there,” said Mr Oparanya.

The Butere legislator insisted that Kenya is capable of handling its affairs without external interference.

“Ocampo is about to open the letter, and this may have far reaching implications to the country,” he said.

He spoke at Buchenya green stadium in Butere during the constituency games competitions.

However, Khwisero MP Evans Akula said handing over of the letter to ICC by Mr Annan was indeed long overdue.
“We passed this in parliament long ago and it did not come as a surprise,” he said.

Mr Akula added that the local tribunal will see only the youth incited to cause mayhem tried while those who funded the chaos walk away Scott free.

A law expert Mr Martin Oloo said heads will roll and political landscape change within following the new development.

“It is a pay back time for the big fish in the current administration,” said Mr Oloo.

“It is something that was unexpected and a vacuum that may follow if suspects are tried at The Hague would lead serious problems here.”

The lawyer observed that handing over of the envelope to Ocampo may have wrapped up the Agenda 4 proceedings.
“Once the investigations against the suspects begins, it would not be easy to carry a head with the agenda four,” he argued.

Additional Reporting by PHILIP MUYANGA, BENSON AMADALA and JOHN SHILITSA

source.nation.ke

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