By: DANIEL TSUMA NYASSY
Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi has asked politicians to tone down the ongoing debate on the case facing Deputy President William Ruto at the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Mr Mudavadi said that the debate on who fixed Mr Ruto in the ICC case was likely to create tension in the country as witnessed during the 2007/2008 post-election violence.
Speaking at Our Lady of Fatima Kongowea Catholic Church in Mombasa on Sunday, Mr Mudavadi said the debate was raising political temperatures in the country adding that this was likely to rise beyond manageable levels.
Mr Mudavadi hit out at politicians now claiming to have evidence on who fixed the Deputy President and coached witnesses saying that they should have come out to testify when former ICC prosecutor Moreno Ocampo came to look for that evidence.
“This fixing issue is a very serious matter. We should never engage in this debate which is a double-edged sword that can tear this country.
“We should remember that we had serious clashes during the 2007/2008 post-election violence,” he said.
He said that he knows the gravity of such debate having been in the Kofi Annan-led committee that brokered peace between the Party of the National Unity (PNU) and the opposition after the disputed 2007 presidential results.
“Politicians are taking this matter as a simple political game but I am warning them that it could have grave effects on this country.
The debate is eroding the gains made in the peace and reconciliation process and taking this country back to the dark days,” he said.
“If you know you have evidence that can be used to help in the ICC case, there are laid-down lawful procedures which you should use to bring out that evidence and not rhetoric.
“The careless debate is creating unnecessary tension that could destroy Kenya,” he said.
He said that the situation was being worsened by both the government and Opposition taking two extreme positions and urged politicians to confess their sins when Pope Francis visits Kenya in November.
“Cord and Jubilee have taken two extreme positions and none of them will do anything good in the eyes of the other.
“How can Kenya progress if the government and the Opposition don’t engage positively?
“Whenever one side does something good, the other side brushes it aside merely because it came from the opponent. This is dangerous for a country,” said the ANC leader.
Mr Mudavadi warned that politicians from the two sides were increasingly preaching hatred and causing anger among Kenyans.
“I ask you from today to walk away from public rallies where politicians preach hatred.
“Just walk away from their irrelevant debates and leave them to talk to the trees,” he told the congregation adding that the country now needs a break from the ongoing debate.
He said that his ANC coalition had the answer to the politics of hatred, anger and incitement and urged Kenyans to elect him to the presidency in the 2017 General Elections.
“I want us to form a movement of peace. Come all of you to support me. Bring a glass of cold water each and I will pour it on both Jubilee and Cord to bring the temperatures down,” he said.
Mr Mudavadi at the same time criticised the government for failing to pay teachers their September salaries saying it showed lack of respect for the courts and the teaching profession.
“The teachers’ strike is now over and they are back in class. Teachers obeyed the court order and resumed duty. But why is the government not paying them? Today is October 11 and they have not been paid,” he said.
He hailed Pope Francis who is set to tour Kenya next month for promoting global peace and leading reconciliation between the US and Cuba, among other countries.