By: PETER LEFTIE
Cord leader Raila Odinga has challenged President Uhuru Kenyatta to order his close allies to swear affidavits disclosing the names of witnesses they recruited to fix Deputy President William Ruto.
Mr Odinga named Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria, Jubilee Alliance Party (JAP) vice-chairman David Murathe, lawyer Kamotho Waiganjo and one Njenga Mwangi as the people who recruited witnesses to implicate Mr Ruto in the crimes committed during the 2007 post-election violence.
Others who procured witnesses to link Mr Ruto to the violence, according to Mr Odinga, include former National Intelligence Service (NIS) Director General Michael Gichangi, President Kenyatta’s political adviser Nancy Gitau and suspended Defence Principal Secretary Mutea Iringo.
“The only people who can recant, disclose and withdraw the false testimony against Hon William Ruto are President Uhuru Kenyatta and his PNU brigade.
“The freedom of Hon William Ruto is, therefore, in the hands of President Uhuru Kenyatta. He is the one with the key to his deputy’s freedom,” Mr Odinga stated in a statement he released from South Korea, where he has been since last week.
“If President Uhuru is genuine about securing the freedom of his coalition partner and Deputy President, then he must immediately do the following: Order Hon Moses Kuria, David Murathe, Kamotho Waiganjo and Njenga Mwangi to immediately swear affidavits and disclose the names of the witnesses who they recruited against Hon William Ruto and what they told them to say against him so that the defence lawyers may discredit their testimony in their arguments on ‘no case to answer.'”
WILLING TO TESTIFY
“This will also help those willing to testify in favour of the DP, including myself,” he said.
He further challenged Mr Kenyatta to order Mr Gichangi, Ms Gitau and Mr Iringo to also swear affidavits regarding their role in incriminating Mr Ruto and disclosing the evidence they procured against him.
This, he said, would help Mr Ruto’s lawyers in advancing their case that the Deputy President has no case to answer.
Mr Odinga also challenged Mr Kenyatta to order the NIS to immediately recant and withdraw the confidential exhibits 19 and 19A of the Waki report containing the evidence incriminating Mr Ruto in the poll chaos.
“If the President does not do the above, then we must conclude that he and his PNU brigade are playing a very cruel and callous game against Hon William Ruto,” he stated.
Mr Odinga was responding to demands by Jubilee MPs that he record a statement with investigative institutions for Mr Ruto’s case.
Mr Ruto was a senior ODM official at the time of the 2007-2008 post-election violence.
Speaking in Meru Town on Sunday during a rally called to pray for Mr Ruto and radio journalist Joshua arap Sang, the more than 100 leaders said Mr Odinga must come clean on what he knows about the alleged “procurement” of witnesses against Mr Ruto.
He challenged Mr Odinga to take the witness box at the International Criminal Court (ICC) to exonerate Mr Ruto and Mr Sang.
‘CURIOUS AND DISTURBING’
Mr Odinga called the Jubilee MPs’ demands intriguing, curious and disturbing.
“Firstly, Hon William Ruto has not been put on his defence. The ICC is yet to rule whether Hon Ruto has a case to answer. I don’t know what information those calling upon me to testify for Hon William Ruto have, but they seem to know something that the rest of us do not know. I find this premature talk about Ruto’s defence curious and disturbing indeed,” he stated.
He maintained that he has previously stated his willingness to testify on Mr Ruto’s behalf that ODM never planned the violence but the deputy president’s close allies have always discouraged him against receiving such testimony.
“In fact, Hon Ruto and his legal team have been publicly beseeched by the same Jubilee politicians challenging me today to testify, not to accept any help from me,” Mr Odinga said.
“This makes the renewed urgent call for me to testify even more curious and disturbing. Something seems to be afoot and only this Jubilee brigade seems to know it,” he added.
He stated that it was “most curious and disturbing” that nobody is talking about recanting and withdrawing the false testimony allegedly used against Mr Ruto.
“My testimony in support of Hon William Ruto will not assist him so long as the false testimony procured against him by the PNU brigade remains on record at The Hague,” he went on.