, KAJIADO, Kenya Jan 19 – Internal Security Minister Professor George Saitoti on Thursday said a Cabinet committee that he chairs does not have any mandate to deal with any judicial matters regarding the International Criminal Court.
Reacting to reports published by a local daily that the Cabinet Committee on ICC will determine whether Deputy Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Eldoret North MP William Ruto will vie for Presidency if indicted by The Hague-based court, Saitoti clarified that his committee only deals with liaison matters.
”I find the story totally misleading, and let it be understood very clearly that my committee does not have any mandate to deal with any judicial matters within the International Criminal Court,” Saitoti said.
The minister was addressing journalists shortly after he attended a meeting to discuss proposed new electoral boundaries at Ngong Township in his Kajiado North constituency.
The reports indicated that the committee will seek the audience with Attorney General Githu Muigai before taking a position that will be placed before the Cabinet for discussion for either approval or rejection.
The seven-member committee includes Saitoti, Foreign Affairs minister Moses Wetang’ula, Justice Minister Mutula Kilonzo, the AG and three ministers from the ODM wing of the coalition government, James Orengo (Lands), Otieno Kajwang’ (Immigration) and Amason Kingi (Fisheries).
The ICC Pre-Trial Chamber judges are expected to deliver the ruling before Monday which will either confirm or reject charges against Kenyatta, Ruto, Tinderet MP Henry Kosgey, Head of Civil Service Francis Muthaura, former Commissioner of Police Major-General (Rtd) Hussein Ali and Kass FM radio presenter Joshua arap Sang.
If the charges against Kenyatta, Ruto, and Kosgey are confirmed, it would raise questions about their eligibility to vie for elective office.
The Justice Minister said on Monday that Kenyatta, Muthaura and Ali should relinquish their government positions should the ICC send them to trial over the 2008 post election violence.
Kilonzo told Capital News that a combination of Chapter Six of the Constitution and the Public Officers Ethics Act requires that such officers resign from public office until they were cleared of any wrong doing.
While citing Articles 10 and 75, he added that the Constitution placed a high credibility threshold on all public and State officers regardless of their social or economic standing.
However, Kenyatta and Ruto have vowed to continue with their campaigns regardless of whether ICC judges decide to commit their cases to trial.
Saitoti who plans to contest the presidency during the coming general elections appealed to Kenyans to remain calm regardless of how the ICC rules on confirmation of charges against the Ocampo Six.
He warned those planning to cause mayhem that the government will deal with them ruthlessly regardless of their personalities.