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ODM claims PNU's anti-ICC campaign is crumbling

BUSINESS
By | Mar 12th 2011 | 2 min read
By | March 12th 2011
BUSINESS

By Elizabeth Mwai and Alex Ndegwa

The summoning of six individuals by the International Criminal Court, prompting the Government to declare it would challenge the jurisdiction of The Hague-based court, has triggered a fresh political battle in the coalition.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s ODM stepped up opposition to the planned onslaught against the ICC on grounds of inadmissibility of the cases alongside the shuttle diplomacy sanctioned by President Kibaki to lobby for a deferral. And a further escalation of hostilities is expected on Thursday when ODM top brass meets to take a stand on the tenures of State officials who have been slapped with ICC summons widely expected to urge them to relinquish office.

Yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, also Finance Minister, declared he would not step aside, saying he owes his position to the President and his electorate (see separate story Page 8).

This was in response to mounting pressure from the civil society calling for Uhuru, the Head of the Civil Service and Secretary to the Cabinet, Francis Muthaura and Postmaster General Hussein Ali, who was the Police Commissioner during post-election violence, to step aside.

Yesterday, ODM claimed PNU’s "feeble" and "misguided" costly anti-ICC campaign was crumbling, saying the fact that US had rebuffed Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka’s plea for deferral of the ICC cases by the UN Security Council had led to the latest ploy to "subvert the trials." In statement read by ODM Secretary General Anyang’ Nyong’o, the party claimed the high profile shuttle diplomacy for the deferral implied authorities recognised that the ICC was legitimately involved hence it was contradictory to belatedly claim the court has no jurisdiction. "How can we ask the Security Council one day that we want to defer the ICC cases for one year, and the very next day claim that the ICC has no jurisdiction over the cases?" Nyong’o posed during the news conference at his Afya House Office in Nairobi. Nyong’o said ODM was not party to the latest manoeuvre since "only PNU members met to decide on the admissibility argument" but the PM reportedly attended the cabinet committee meeting.

But PNU countered it was hypocritical for ODM to claim it had no representation in the delegation led by the VP to lobby the UN Security Council.

"Nothing could be further from the truth. Two of their members —minister Sally Kosgey and Hellen Sambili — are part of the VP’s delegation. Kigumo MP Jamleck Kamau said ODM is not sincere in the unrelenting push for the Ocampo Six to face trial at The Hague.

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