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Don’t be distracted with ICC matters, says Raila Odinga

Kenya: Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) leader Raila Odinga says Kenyans should not be distracted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) case facing President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Raila says the President had indicated that the matter was a personal challenge and wished him well in his case.

The former PM noted that in the run-up to the 2013 General Election, President Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto declared that the charges they were facing at The Hague were personal matters.

Raila said that he together with former President Mwai Kibaki, had tried to push Parliament towards forming a local tribunal but were opposed vehemently.

“We rooted for a local tribunal but these leaders refused, stressing that we should go the Hague way,” the ODM leader said. He was speaking at the funeral of Mama Rispah Arwa Ombaka, the mother-in-law of Siaya Woman Representative Christine Ombaka.

Also at the funeral was Justice Phillip Waki, who chaired the commission of inquiry in the 2007/08 post-election violence that listed individuals who bore the greatest responsibility.

Raila said Waki should reveal the names of people in the secret list who were found to have perpetuated the violence. “Justice Waki is here. One day he will confirm to you that my name was never in the list,” he said, claiming that many people have resorted to mentioning his name at the ICC.

He, however, insisted that should there be need to bring perpetrators of the violence to book, other options should be explored. These, he said, include the full implementation of the Truth Justice and Reconciliation (TJRC) report.

“There is need for a comprehensive solution to all these since it is an issue that cannot be wished away,” said Raila. He said the Jubilee Government was not keen on providing a solution for the victims of the violence. He, however, wished the President, Ruto and journalist Joshua Sang well in their cases at the ICC.

The CORD leader also drummed up support for the referendum, and urged Kenyans to support it in large numbers. “We opted for the referendum after the President refused to dialogue with us,” he said.

 Raila was accompanied by his wife Ida, Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero, Siaya Senator James Orengo, MPs Jakoyo Midiwo (Gem), Nicholas Gumbo (Rarieda) and Oburu Oginga (nominated).

Elsewhere in Siaya, Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale warned leaders accompanying the President against using public funds in the trip.

“When the 100 MPs accompanying the President come back, we shall put them to task over their spending during the trip,” said Khalwale.


 

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