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Ruto backs Uhuru as Raila digs in

BY
Updated Monday, March 26th 2012 at 00:00 GMT +3

By MOSES NJAGIH and DAVID OCHAMI

Eldoret North MP William Ruto defended the weekend’s calls by Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta’s supporters for postponement of The Hague’s case against them until after next year’s General Election.

But Prime Minister Raila Odinga and his allies took a swipe at Uhuru and Ruto with the PM saying: "ICC suspects know how they ended up at The Hague and should stop hoodwinking Kenyans…I did not take them there."

Eldoret North MP William Ruto at Faith Evangelistic Ministries, Karen, on Sunday, where he attended a church service. He later told the Press he hoped the coming General Election will be peaceful. [PHOTO: MBUGUA KIBERA/STANDARD]

Ruto argued Uhuru’s supporters who are planning to petition the International Criminal Court to delay the Kenyan case through collection of signatures were exercising their constitutional rights and freedom of expression.

Though he backed Uhuru’s strategy, he declined to give his own definite position over the proposal to defer the trial, saying he would make that known at "an appropriate time".

In a direct response to Raila’s own criticism of his series of ‘peace and prayer’ rallies with Uhuru, Ruto responded: "Their criticism and claims against the prayers can only be coming from ill intent. We go down on our knees to pray because we believe in the power of prayer."

Ruto spoke after attending Sunday service at Faith Evangelistic Ministry Church in Karen.

On his part the PM accused Uhuru and the other ICC suspects of displaying misplaced anger after their indictment adding his Orange Democratic Movement had nothing to gain from their tribulations. "We are not interested in taking anyone anywhere. These two (Uhuru and Ruto) know how they went there (at The Hague)," Raila went on.

He spoke on a day Ruto supported Uhuru’s strategy for remaining on the ballot paper in the race for State House next year after their initial appeal against being committed to full trial failed. They, however, have one more possible chance to escape the protracted courtroom trial by way of the appeal they filed on ICC’s jurisdiction on Kenya’s case.

In taking on Ruto and Uhuru, a speaker at Raila’s rally also introduced a new dimension in his political rivalry with the G7 Alliance by asking the Eldoret North MP and Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka to ask themselves why Uhuru did not invite them to his Gema rally in Limuru last Friday.

Phantom philosophy

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