Winning presidency won’t assuage ICC – Raila

November 5, 2012 3:26 pm
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The PM was addressing grassroots leaders from the North Rift region who had invited him to Eldoret for a consultative meeting and to express their support for his presidential bid/PMPS
ELDORET , Kenya, Nov 5 – Prime Minister Raila Odinga has said leaders facing charges at the International Criminal Court(ICC) over the 2008 post-election violence will still go through the process irrespective of whether they are elected president or not.

Emphasising that election as president or deputy president was not a deterrent to The Hague process, the Prime Minister made it clear that the only way out of the court was for those facing the charges to prove their innocence.

The PM was addressing grassroots leaders from the North Rift region who had invited him to Eldoret for a consultative meeting and to express their support for his presidential bid.

Odinga pointed out that as country, Kenya has always wanted its nationals facing charges at the ICC to be tried locally, a position he added had not changed.

He committed himself to lobby to have the four Kenyans facing charges at The Hague tried locally if elected president during the general election on March 4, 2013.

Odinga at the same time dismissed claims by Eldoret North MP William Ruto that he was instrumental in convincing members of the Kalenjin community to vote for him in the last election.

Noting that Kenyans were politically mature to elect leaders of their own choice, Odinga said it was preposterous for any one leader to claim credit for the votes he received from the Rift Valley in the last election.

Once again Odinga apologised to the Kalenjin community if he had wronged them when executing his duties as the Prime Minister, saying it was never his intention to hurt anyone.

He said: “We have always walked together with you as a community to bring positive changes to this country. I urge you once again to join me in this journey which we did not complete last time.”

Odinga reminded the audience that the greatest achievement in the country in recent times was realisation of the constitution but hastened to add that the constitution was only a paper that needed committed leaders to implement.

“This document will help ensure that all Kenyans accessed basic rights to health, education and equity, while fighting social ills like corruption and impunity,” he added.

He said: “We have always walked together with you as a community to bring positive changes to this country. I urge you once again to join me in this journey which we did not complete last time.”

The leaders reaffirmed their support for the Prime Minister saying their interest as a community and that of Kenyans in general will be safeguarded under Odinga’s leadership.

The leaders drawn mainly from North Rift counties of Nandi, Keiyo/Marakwet ,Uasin Gishu, West Pokot, Trans Nzoia and Mt Elgon stated that they overwhelmingly supported the PM in 2007 for the country’s presidency and nothing had changed that position.

The leaders cautioned a section of politicians from the community against what they said were attempts to auction the community wholesale.

“No one has consulted us about the political direction our community is taking nor whom to support in the coming presidential race, it is therefore dishonest for any of our political leaders to purport to have the support of the community in backing another presidential candidate other than the PM,” they added.

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