By Karanja Njoroge And Kepher Otieno

Agriculture Minister William Ruto now says only minor offenders in the post-election violence should appear before the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC).

Ruto said persons with the greatest responsibility and those in the Waki envelope should face trial at the International Criminal Court at The Hague. "As leaders, we sat and agreed to form a Coalition Government. Why are we denying our people the chance to speak the truth and reconcile through the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission?" he posed.

He dismissed claims he had been wavering over the issue and said he had all along called for those in the Waki envelope to be tried at The Hague.

He said he was ready to appear at the ICC, as he had nothing to fear.

"I am ready to face the law and we want to know who stole the election and who started the violence," he said.

The minister was speaking at a funds drive for Kipkelion Girls School in Kipkelion District, on Saturday.

Elders meeting

Meanwhile, Luo Council of Elders has petitioned President Kibaki to facilitate a meeting for elders from all communities to help reconcile the country.

In a memorandum presented to the Head of State at Kisumu State Lodge, they asked the President to use elders to broker peace among Kenyans.

"Your Excellency, we are torn apart by our ethnic affiliations. Kenya is one. We must strike at the root cause of disunity and bring our people together. Kenya is for us all by birthright and not by chance," said Luo Council of Elders Chairman Riaga Ogalo.

He caused unease when he chose to address the President in Dholuo for about eight minutes.

On noticing the apparent anxiety among VIPs, he invited his deputy Adera Osawa to interpret but Osawa addressed different issues altogether.

Ogalo at times veered off his official speech to criticise the Government.

The President, who was seated between Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Internal Security Minister George Saitoti, watched calmly.

He said the community had been marginalised by successive regimes for decades yet they also belonged in Kenya.

"Mr President sir, wawuoro ahinya gima omiyo wan wasiko kwa ungo lwedo joka Mumbi to gin ok gidwa ungowa lwedo, wakosa ango? (We have been supporting our colleagues from the House of Mumbi, why don’t they reciprocate? " He posed.

When Raila rose he laboured to explain the issues raised to the President. He asked Kenyans to tolerate one another and said he was ready to lead the way with the President.

The President, however, tactfully evaded some of the questions directed at him and implored the community to be patient as the issues would be addressed.

He said plans were under way to make Kisumu a regional business hub in the ongoing talks on East Africa Community integration.