, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 20 – Central Kenya leaders on Monday launched a funds drive in aid of Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta\’s legal defence in The Hague after he was mentioned as one of the suspected perpetrators of the 2008 post election violence.
Central Kenya Parliamentary Group Vice Chairman Kiraitu Murungi argued that the litigation fees accrued while defending the ICC suspects, in the event that the case went to trial, would be too expensive to meet solely.
He claimed that each of the six suspects needed close to Sh150 million to get good legal representation.
“When someone is your friend you don’t run away from him when he has problems. And in addition to that, one day your friend will die and if you are a true friend, it is your duty to be a member of his funeral committee,” he argued.
He however added that the Central Kenya caucus was open to the idea of raising funds for the other five suspects but through consultations with the executive members of their respective political alliances.
“We believe that those other groups will also be meeting like we are because I know the issue we are raising is common for all of us. So we will see what we can do but our primary responsibility is to highlight issues relating to central Kenya,” he said.
Mr Murungi further explained that the group would open a bank account which would have trustees where Kenyans could send or deposit monies to kick off the legal defense fund.
It was however not clear whether or not the funds would also be sent through mobile money transfer services.
“We want to mobilise all Kenyans who feel as outraged as we do to support the fund. If five million Kenyans contributed Sh100 each, we would reach our goal so let us not think about a few rich people contributing for this process,” he said.
The MPs argued that their drive was neither political nor tribal claiming that they made the same efforts in an attempt to resettle Internally Displaced Persons.
They also maintained their scathing attacks on the ICC saying it had become a judicial conspiracy to settle political scores. Mr Murungi added that the lawmakers from Central Kenya would support the motion to withdraw Kenya from the Rome Statute when the debate came up in Parliament on Tuesday.
“Kenya’s membership in the ICC has in the past compromised her role as a peacemaker in the Horn of Africa. This together with the politicisation of the Kenya case has convinced to abrogate our membership and join other states like America, Russia and China,” he said.
He also asked the government to fast track the judicial reforms in order to help prosecute those behind the 2007/08 violence.
Mr Murungi was accompanied by Group Chairman Ephraim Maina, Assistant Ministers Ferdinand Waititu and Lee Kinyanjui, Naivasha MP John Mututho, Mukurweini MP Kabando wa Kabando and Kabete MP Lewis Nguyai among others.