, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 23 – Former Kenya National Commission on Human Rights chairperson Florence Jaoko has said Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto should put their presidential ambitions on hold until their cases before the International Criminal Court (ICC) are determined.
Jaoko said the two should take moral responsibility to first deal with the issues at hand.
Kenyatta and Ruto were among four suspects whose charges were confirmed by the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber II on Monday.
“The two of them are still very young… they still have a whole world out there and it would make more sense if they are to run in 2017 or whenever the next elections are, having cleared their names,” Jaoko said.
“It will be very untidy if they are elected. Then you will have a president who is on the one hand governing you and on the other running off to The Hague for a trial,” she added.
She said the suspects now have an option to appeal or to go to full trial.
“If they go on with the trial, the process may be shorter… a trial is more firm because if the evidence is produced and it is not sufficient then you have the benefit of an acquittal much earlier,” the former KNCHR boss said.
Meanwhile, Energy Minister Kiraitu Murungi has termed the decision by the ICC as surprising.
Murungi said the four suspects whose charges against humanity were confirmed should appeal against the decision.
He emphasised that the four still had their fundamental rights including those of running for political office despite the ruling.
“It will be wrong for us as Kenyans to deny them their human rights and their political rights on the basis of today’s findings of the court,” he said.
Tigania East MP Peter Munya added that the crimes that took place in the 2008 post election violence that left more than 1,300 people dead and 500,000 others displaced never reached the threshold for crimes against humanity.
“We believe this is intended to remove competition from the political process so that certain parties can reap but we are in the politics here and I can assure you that outcome which is intended is not going to be the outcome,” he said.