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Kenya

ODM disowns plans to defer ICC trials

NAIROBI, Jan 17 – The Orange Democratic Movement has disowned government plans to lobby the African Union to defer the Kenya case at the International Criminal Court.

Deputy Leader Musalia Mudavadi said on Monday that the party would not support such a move as it aimed at entrenching impunity in the country. He termed the ongoing diplomatic efforts by the government to rally African states to support the decision as \’ill advised.\’

"We wish to state categorically that to the best of our knowledge, the Cabinet has not made any resolution to that effect," said Mr Mudavadi.

A host of Cabinet Ministers led by Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka have in recent weeks been touring various capitals in Africa to lobby governments there to support the move which will be floated at the African Union Summit later this month.

Mr Kalonzo has already met South African President Jacob Zuma and Ugandan leader Yoweri Museveni in what he described on Saturday as \’efforts to brief the leaders on the progress the government has made in finding a local judicial system\’.

The VP is expected to meet more leaders this week before the summit takes place.

Read the full ODM statement.

Mr Mudavadi who was backed by 16 legislators including three Cabinet Ministers was however categorical that: "Whoever is pushing this agenda is not doing it for the Coalition Government, but as a partisan and personal agenda."

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Outside the Executive, a group of MPs led by those from Rift Valley are spearheading a plan to compel the Executive to withdraw from the Rome Statute that establishes the ICC. The MPs who last year successfully passed a Motion seeking the withdrawal have now prepared a Bill to legislate the resolution.

Mr Mudavadi however said the MPs pushing the agenda were the same ones who led the anti-local tribunal crusade.

"Twice they frustrated government Bills for a local tribunal in Parliament," he said.

Led by Eldoret North MP William Ruto the legislators have changed tact and now claim Prime Minister is behind the of six suspects named by ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo.

Mr Mudavadi however said it is wrong for the MPs to claim that Mr Odinga was behind the naming of the suspects.

"The same few MPs framing him are the same who accused him of seeking a local process in order to punish the youth who voted and fought for him.

The ODM party is facing its greatest challenged ever as the Ruto led group threatens to destabilise it and lead a mass exit with leaders from North Eastern, Central and parts of Western Kenya.

Besides the ODM team is now partnering with "youthful leaders" to lock out the old guard from power in the 2012 elections with Mr Ruto\’s call for generational leadership change.

Mr Ruto, and his allies Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka and Finance Minister Uhuru Kenyatta have announced that they will team up or form an alliance in the run-up to next year\’s polls.

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Mr Mudavadi however dismissed this tactic as \’selfish\’ claiming the three “are not so youthful as they claim.”

"To the best of my knowledge Uhuru turns 50 next year, Kalonzo is past 50, Raila is over 50 and Musalia has just turned 50, we are basically the same age," he said.

"For as long as youth is someone else other than Raila then they are propagating a youthful agenda.”

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