|Former ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo|
By Ally Jamah
Kenya: The Jubilee administration will press Parliament to investigate remarks by former ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo that foreign envoys had wanted him to prevent Mr Uhuru Kenyatta and Mr William Ruto from contesting elections.
National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale said he would seek the support of Jubilee MPs to present a petition to Parliament to investigate the alleged plot to fix the president and his deputy at the ICC.
Duale signaled the petition to investigate alleged involvement of Western diplomats and allegations civil society coached witnesses may be ready in the next two weeks, suggesting that the Government has prioritised the matter high on the agenda of the House that reopens Tuesday.
Instructively, Monday President Kenyatta will chair a Parliamentary Group meeting for the ruling Jubilee Coalition at State House, Nairobi.
As the leader of the ruling coalition in the National Assembly, it is unlikely Duale would make the statement without the knowledge of his bosses.
It is thus expected that the remarks by Moreno-Ocampo are likely to feature at Monday’s meeting where Jubilee’s agenda in Parliament will be discussed. Moreno-Ocampo, who left the ICC in 2012, dropped the bombshell that foreign powers had wanted to use the cases against Uhuru and Ruto to block them from running for high office in the General Election.
“There were some diplomats asking me to do something more to prevent Kenyatta or Ruto to run in the elections. And I said, it’s not my job. Judges in Kenya should do that. And if they authorised them to run, people will vote. And if people vote for them we have nothing to say,” Moreno-Ocampo is quoted in transcripts of an interview with Radio Netherlands Worldwide that took place on January 22 this year at a hotel in Amsterdam.
Defence lawyers are also likely to capitalise on the remarks with the status conference in Uhuru’s case scheduled on Friday.
Jubilee leaders have seized on the statements that were published locally as vindication that the Kenyan ICC cases were politically motivated.
Yesterday, Jubilee-allied MPs kept up the pressure saying the ICC cases should be terminated, alleging the former prosecutor had acknowledged the motive of some foreigners to have Uhuru and Ruto blocked from running for high office.
Duale said Jubilee wants the National Assembly to summon Justice Phillip Waki who chaired the Commission of Inquiry into the 2007 post-election violence, to reveal the contents of the infamous envelope that nailed Uhuru and Ruto.
He also wants inquiries to be opened into the role of Western diplomats and civil society groups that are alleged to have coached witnesses. The probe will also target former UN Secretary General and Chief Mediator Kofi Annan and the Waki Commission, he added.
“This is a serious national issue since six Kenyans have gone through unthinkable torment for years just to ensure that a certain politician can ascend to power. The whole world must know that the Kenyan cases were politically motivated. They were never judicial processes from the word go,” Duale claimed.
He added that Parliament should open a probe into funds from western governments that were channeled to civil society organisations to “coach witnesses” to fix Uhuru and Ruto.
He said that Parliament has powers to summon Justice Waki to reveal the contents of the secret envelop that was handed to the ICC, and how he arrived at the names of the individuals contained therein.
“Kenyans must know the full contents of that envelop which has caused a lot of problems in the country. We can’t afford to have an amorphous envelope hanging around for six years,” Duale said. He claimed that under the Commissions of Inquiries Act, the Waki Commission should have handed the envelope and its final report to former President Kibaki and not Annan. Duale claimed that the Waki commission was biased as some of its key officials had close associations with the leadership of ODM.
Duale said that although Moreno-Ocampo did not name the diplomats who were pressuring him, they were known. Ruto’s lawyers claimed at the ICC that former US envoy Michael Ranneberger sought witnesses for the Kenyan cases. Duale said that Moreno-Ocampo should now appear before the ICC judges. “Moreno-Ocampo has in essence admitted to what we have been saying for many years: that the Kenyan cases were purely political to ensure that former Prime Minister Raila Odinga ascends to power and execute the pro-western agenda.” he claimed.
MPs Janet Nangabo (Trans-Nzoia Woman Representative), Jackson Kiptanui (Keiyo South), Kabando Wa Kabando (Mukurweini MP), Gitari Gachoki (Kirinyaga), Charles Keter (Kericho Senator) and Narok Governor Samuel Tunai were among those who criticised the ICC cases. Nangabo said: “It is now upon the court to drop the case unconditionally following the recent revelation by Ocampo.”
– Additional reporting by Michael Wesonga, Osinde Obare, Job Weru, Munene Kamau and Charles Ngeno