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President Uhuru's statement reignites ICC pullout bid

By Jacob Ngetich | April 18th 2016
President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto during thanksgiving prayers at Afraha Stadium. (Photo: PSCU) 

The sponsor of a bill seeking Kenya's withdrawal from the Rome Statute says the push has gained momentum following the President's declaration last week.

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Saturday said that no Kenyan will ever face trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) again.

"I will not allow any other Kenyan to be tried in a foreign court. As a country, we have closed the ICC chapter," Mr Kenyatta said at Afraha Stadium.

Sunday, Bumula MP Boniface Otsyula, who has sponsored the bill seeking the repeal of the International Crimes Act, which domesticates the Rome Statute and allows the country's co-operation with the ICC, said his bill had been emboldened by the President's firm statement.

Mr Otsyula said the House Business Committee, which schedules parliamentary business, will meet this week to decide when the bill will be debated in the House.

"We are not looking back, the court has shown us that they did not do proper investigations in the country and therefore it's not a judicial system to be relied on and now it is time we move out," he said.

He said the bill was suspended last August because MPs thought judges would use it to accuse Kenya interference in the two cases.

"I can confidently say now that kuni iko tayari (firewood is ready) for cooking the court, we can no longer allow a court that is political and does not do its investigations to continue gambling with the lives of Kenyans, we should have trust with our own judicial system," said Otsyula.

Majority Leader Aden Duale said President Kenyatta's statement was clear and that the country would not let any other Kenyan to go through the humiliation like the Ocampo Six.

"Our position is clear, no Kenyan will be humiliated again in the foreign courts when we had a country that is sound and with a working judicial system," said Duale.

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