, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 5- Suspended Cabinet Minister William Ruto shared his final thoughts hours before departing for The Hague where he is due to answer to International Criminal Court summonses on Friday.
In an interview on Capital Talk, to be aired on Tuesday night at K24, Ruto exuded confidence that he would return from The Netherlands an emboldened man but at the same time admitting that the whole process was taking its toll on him.
“If justice, truth and fairness are the benchmarks, then definitely we will be back. The one thing all of us expected is there would be credible, independent investigations into this process. If there were, and if there will ever be credible independent investigations, my name should not be on that list,” said the Eldoret North MP.
“I’m going there to demonstrate and prove my innocence. The charges are not run-of-the-mill issues. I’m accused of crimes against humanity where thousands of Kenyans died, (that I allegedly) distributed 3,000 guns, hand grenades, money and I had an army with commanders. Those things can only be in a movie not reality,” Mr Ruto added.
He insisted the charges leveled against him were political machinations to diminish his increasing influence especially in the Rift Valley where he is held as the de facto political leader.
In line with his recent gospel in the run-up to the ICC trip, Mr Ruto who is the Deputy Leader of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) placed his woes on the doormat of Prime Minister Raila Odinga and elements closest to him who “have turned the party into private property”.
“I will not mention names but a beneficiary of the violence is saying the violence must have been planned. You are enjoying the trappings of power that came as a result of sharing of government occasioned by violence and you want other people to carry the cross as you enjoy the trappings of power?” he charged.
“The other day, I heard a statement from him that he was detained and yet he was innocent (after the 1982 attempted coup attempt against then President Daniel Moi) and so Ruto should go to The Hague. If you were unfairly accused you won’t wish another person to go through another injustice.”
The Eldoret North legislator who has transversed the country in recent months proclaiming his innocence stressed, “We (ODM) have gone back to KANU single party regime tactics. If you do not toe the leader’s line, you are either removed from the party or position.
“Last week, ODM called its National Executive Committee where the Party Leader (Mr Odinga) was present where certain decisions including legal fees to those members going to The Hague and how to deal with the way forward were made. Within hours, a decision made by the party using its organs was reversed by one or two people.”
On the possibility of detention at The Hague during the forthcoming trip, Mr Ruto appeared taken aback by that prospect but after composing himself, affirmed;
“If they decide to detain anyone of us, it will demonstrate what system it is because as things stand now, there is a ruling of the court and conditions attached to the summonses are that we need not to interfere with witnesses, investigations and need to show up when were are called upon to. We have kept to that script; it would be strange if they went out of their way to detain us.”
He expounded: “Anything is possible. Take confidence in the fact, we all still believe this is supposed to be a justice system. That is above board, based on fairness, justice and until they prove otherwise, we shall take it as that.”
Mr Ruto read hypocrisy in the push to charge him and co-accused Deputy Prime Minister, Uhuru Kenyatta, Head of Civil Service, Francis Muthaura suspended Industrialisation Minister, Henry Kosgey, Post Master General and immediate former Police Commissioner, Major Gen (Rtd) Hussein Ali as well as vernacular radio presenter, Joshua Sang at the ICC court while the country had a competent Judiciary to try such cases.
“I’m currently in court, Kosgei is in court. If we have actually committed the kind of crimes they say we have committed, why haven’t we been arrested and taken to court here in Kenya since the same judicial system that can arrest Ruto as ‘powerful’ as he is and take him to court on a land matter in Ngong Forest is in place?” he posed.
“You cannot on one end say the judicial system has collapsed that’s why we are going to and ICC and another time, still arrest people and charge them. It clearly demonstrated there is more to this than the search for justice.”
The suspended Higher Education Minister reiterated the toll the case was having on his family disclosing, “Some of my family members cannot understand what is going on and it is affecting them. My plan is to insulate them from all this business. My mother is already here, she does not understand what is going on, my children are managing with a bit of difficulty but I will be vindicated.”