By Ngumbao Kithi
The big decision on whether Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto will run for president lies with local courts, the head of the Judiciary says.
Chief Justice Willy Mutunga has said only the Kenyan courts can decide whether the international crimes suspects can run for an elective office. The Deputy Prime Minister and the Eldoret North MP await trial at The Hague-based International Criminal Court ( ICC) over post-election violence crimes.
Despite the grave charges facing them including mass rape, murder, and deportation the two suspects have launched bids for president, with a tirade against Prime Minister Raila Odinga questioning his reform credentials.
Uhuru and Ruto appear to have been energised by a decision by the International Criminal Court ( ICC) to push their trials to April, which will be after the first round of presidential election.
Mutunga, who closed a three-day workshop on transformation of the Judiciary in Mombasa, said a suit filed in local courts to test Uhuru and Ruto’s integrity and capacity to participate in the presidential polls will be concluded at the end of this month.
“The courts in Kenya will decide if these people can stand for president,” he said in Mombasa, a statement set to spur panic in the camps of the two politicians.
Mutunga recalled that the High Court is hearing the matter brought to by applicants who want it to determine the two leaders’ integrity and capacity to seek public office.
Courts to decide
“Already some Kenyans have taken Uhuru [Kenyatta] and [William] Ruto to court to determine whether they can stand and the court will decide.” In the past the CJ has unnerved many politicians for asserting that courts will enforce Chapter Six on leadership and integrity for all who seek appointment and election to public offices.
Wamalwa insists that Uhuru and Ruto are free to run now that their ICC cases are set to kick off after the General Election.