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Uhuru spoils for a fight with Raila

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 28 – With only a few days before traveling to the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague, Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta held a massive public rally in Muranga on Sunday where he declared that he was firmly in the 2012 Presidential race.

Mr Kenyatta’s tour of Mt Kenya has been seen as his bid to consolidate the region’s vote. He used the well attended rallies to rally residents to stay behind him in his plan to succeed President Mwai Kibaki.

The Finance Minister was accompanied by over 10 Members of Parliament among them Eldoret North MP William Ruto who is also bound for The Hague.

“We are ready even to unite with people of Nyanza in this race (to State House). We have no problem with them; we only have a problem with one person,” he said amid jeers from the crowd of Prime Minister Raila Odinga.

Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto on Saturday heightened their war against Mr Odinga vowing to fight him politically to the end. Speaking in Meru, the two leaders accused the PM of fighting for their political downfall and swore they were all out for "political war."

"Since 2008, we went to work until Raila became too much. Now we are doing politics and we will push him to the end," said Mr Kenyatta.

While issuing a statement in Parliament last week the PM hit out at the two and told them to go plead their innocence at The Hague.

The Finance Minister and Mr Ruto have been summoned to appear at the ICC next week on Thursday to answer accusations that they were part of the masterminds of the deadly 2008 post election violence. Mr Kenyatta has been accused by Prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo of leading counter-attacks in Naivasha and Nakuru on ODM supports through the Mungiki sect.

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Others named by Mr Ocampo and required to appear at the Hague are ODM Chairman Henry Kosgey, Head of Civil Service Francis Muthaura, former Police Commission Major Hussein Ali and journalist Joshua arap Sang.

Mr Kenyatta continued to plead his innocence against accusations that he was part of the masterminds of the post election violence.  He said it was Mr Odinga who should be facing trial after refusing to concede defeat in the 2007 election and calling for mass action which led to the violence.

The son of Kenya’s first President Jomo Kenyatta was installed as a Kikuyu elder in Murang’a, a signal of endorsement for the region’s leadership.

Mr Kenyatta called on leaders in the region to unite as the country prepares for the polls next year and exuded confidence that he would come back from the International Criminal Court unscathed.

“We plead with you people of Murang’a that we shall all stand together and work in unity,” he urged calling this the Murang’a declaration.

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