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Jubilee and CORD agree that ICC ruling will end political propaganda

THE HAGUE TRIAL
By Rawlings Otieno and Moses Nyamori | April 7th 2016

Jubilee and CORD believe the collapse of the ICC cases will end political propaganda that has been woven around them.

CORD expressed relief, saying the landmark ruling would now provide a level political playing ground for the 2017 polls.

The Opposition claimed the ICC cases against Deputy President William Ruto and journalist Joshua Sang cost CORD leader Raila Odinga the presidency in the 2013 polls, following a sustained blame game.

MPs Nicholas Gumbo (Rarieda), Junet Mohammed (Suna East) and Millie Odhiambo (Mbita) expressed relief that the cases have come to a close since the ICC narrative has been used to whip up voters' emotions for the past six years.

Mr Mohammed, who is also ODM's Director of Elections, said their opponents used the cases to whip up public sympathy in the run-up to the last general election, adding that since the cases have come to an end, the 2017 polls would be based on issues and not accusations on who fixed Mr Ruto.

"Politically, it's good the cases have ended before next year's elections. The ICC issue has been used as a propaganda tool with our opponents sustaining allegations that Raila took Ruto to The Hague," said Junet.

Ms Odhiambo argued that ICC should have ordered an acquittal, not vacation of the remaining Kenyan cases.

"Leaving a dark ominous cloud over an individual is not right in a highly ethnically polarised nation where political marriages are fairly tenuous and political ideologies and convictions change faster than the weather," she said on her Facebook page.

The Mbita legislator called for national healing and cohesion through compensation of victims and their families fairly.

But Mr Gumbo said the country must now dispassionately seek a lasting solution to the plight of victims.

"It's still a bit early (to state the political implication of the ICC ruling). I do believe that ICC will no longer be the generator of sympathy votes and propaganda that was in 2013," he said.

The National Assembly Public Accounts Committee chairman said the next elections would be based on issues and not plastic sentimentalities and innuendos.

On the other hand, Jubilee leaders said the verdict had vindicated them from claims by their opponents that there was a conspiracy by one side of the coalition to have Ruto jailed.

"There are those who have been peddling lies that there was a conspiracy to separate President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy by leaving one side at The Hague," said Deputy Senate Majority Leader Kipchumba Murkomen.

The Elgeyo Marakwet senator said Tuesday's ruling has fortified the unity of the two leaders at a time the country is preparing for a general election.

There has also been debate on whether President Uhuru Kenyatta and Ruto were united by the cases. Baringo North MP William Cheptumo said President Uhuru Kenyatta and Ruto did not unite because of the cases they were facing at the ICC,  but by the need to end animosity between communities that have had historical differences. "This ruling will offer an opportunity for the two leaders to cement their unity and form a formidable team not only for 2017 but even after," he said.

 Mukuruwe-ini MP Kabando wa Kabando said those who doubted Jubilee would unite have to go back to the drawing board.

"There is a renowned political figure in this country who said that both the President and his deputy belong to jail. But he didn't know that they belong to State House," he said. Senate Majority Leader Kithure Kindiki said the cases were concocted for political reasons.

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