NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 19 – Prime Minister Raila Odinga now says President Mwai Kibaki should take personal and political responsibility for what police and others State agents did during the post election violence.
The Premier told a Nairobi court that President Kibaki is responsible because he was the Head of State at the time of the bloody violence.
“The President was personally and politically responsible for what police and other State agencies did during the post election violence. He is responsible because he was the Head of State,” Odinga said in response to a question by a lawyer over who should be responsible for the 2007- 2008 post election violence.
Odinga was testifying in a case in which a former Alego Usonga MP Otieno Mak’Onyango has sued former President Daniel arap Moi for illegal detention.
The Prime Minister also distanced his Orange Democratic Movement party and the top hierarchy – the pentagon – which he heads from any blame over the post election crisis, saying their followers were only involved in peaceful demonstrations.
“I cannot take political or personal responsibility for any loss of life or property because I am not aware of any member of ODM who took law into their hands. They only took part in peaceful demonstrations as provided in the Constitution,” Odinga said.
He also said that William Ruto who is facing the International Criminal Court over the post election violence is in court as an individual but not in his capacity as a member of the pentagon.
“Indeed I am aware that a member of pentagon has been charged in relation to PEV and he has been charged individually but not collectively. It’s not pentagon which has been charged,” he added.
Mak’Onyango has sued the former president for detention in 1982 following the Coup d’état without trial for four years had urged the court to order the case he filed six years ago to proceed to full trial.
But Moi has denied Mak’Onyango’s claims saying he has not proved in his plaint that any of the alleged wrongdoing during his arrest, prosecution, detention and torture were under his directions.
The retired president has argued that he had no knowledge, executive, legal, and personal involvement in his detention, imprisonment and trial.
Moi further contends the allegations are time barred, unsustainable, defective and an abuse of court process adding that he cannot be liable for any arrest whether lawful or unlawful if it was conducted by police who exercised their discretion within the provisions of the law.
Mak’Onyango is praying for general damages for false imprisonment and malicious prosecution. He was prosecuted for treason on September 23, 1982 and says his constitutional and fundamental rights were violated.
He has listed Odinga and others as witnesses to support his case.