The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Uhuru, Ruto to Sign Pact in Burundi Day

DEPUTY Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta is due to sign his final election pact with Ruto and six other politicians in Bujumbura this morning. The eight members of the alliance hope that they can now win the presidential election in March 2013.

Uhuru flew out yesterday afternoon from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport to the Burundi capital in a private plane with Eldoret North MP William Ruto; Justice minister Eugene Wamalwa; Water minister Charity Ngilu; Mutito MP Kiema Kilonzo; Nominated MP Musikari Kombo; Trade minister Chirau Ali Mwakwere; and Special Programmes minister Naomi Shabaan.

They are due to sign their secret deal in Bujumbura this morning and then go to meet President Pierre Nkurunziza before returning to Nairobi. The eight reportedly met President Kibaki yesterday afternoon to brief him on their deal.

The essence of the agreement is that Uhuru will stand for president with Ruto as his running mate for deputy president. They will be fully supported by the other six members of the alliance.

However if Uhuru and Ruto are blocked from standing, then the alliance will run Ngilu as its presidential candidate with Eugene as her running mate.

Again, all members of the alliance have agreed to support this line-up. Government positions will be shared proportionately between the eight members of the alliance.

A draft agreement between Eldoret North MP William Ruto and Deputy PM Uhuru Kenyatta was yesterday finalised by ten lawyers before being endorsed by URP and TNA allied members of parliament.

The Star saw a draft copy with the two top positions filled by Uhuru as President with Ruto as his running mate. Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka is conspicuously not part of the group that will sign the deal this morning.

The Uhuru team apparently are convinced that Kalonzo has done a deal with Raila Odinga and have cut him out. The PM has recently made several public appearances with Johnstone Muthama, a key financial backer of the Vice-President.

Belgut MP Charles Keter, a key Ruto ally, reportedly met UDF presidential aspirant Musalia Mudavadi in a final attempt to bring him into the team but for a lesser position.

The Uhuru-Ruto agreement includes positions for the Speakers of Senate and Parliament, Majority Leader in Parliament and Cabinet Secretary.

Cheranganyi MP Joshua Kutunyi said yesterday the positions of president and deputy president were no longer negotiable and all other parties coming on board would be accommodated at the lower levels.

"Under our agreement URP and TNA are the mother parties in the deal. TNA has an agreement with its own allies like New Ford Kenya and Narc while as URP we also will come in with our allies", said Kutunyi.

Other sources said Ruto was reaching out to presidential aspirant Peter Kenneth to also join the alliance. Yesterday Ruto returned to Nairobi after a series of rallies in Rift Valley and told Raila to keep off the ICC issue.

He blasted Raila for saying on Monday that Uhuru and Ruto would have to go to the ICC even if they were elected president and deputy president..

"When the PM met me a few weeks ago, I was good to be his running mate. But when I turned down his request, I am now no longer good because I am an ICC suspect. Raila should be told this country has a shortage of foolish people that he can cheat," said Ruto at his Ngong Road office

"He wants to create or make stories that if elected he is the only one who can lobby for deferral. The Prime Minister needs to be a honest person and should know that what he is engaging in is political conmanship," said Ruto.

Four MPs allied to Uhuru also criticized Raila's statement. MPs Rachel Shebesh, Abdul Bahari, John Mututho and Ferdinand Waititu accused the premier of blackmail, opening old wounds and told him to shut up.

Mututho said Uhuru and Ruto could still travel to the Hague as president and deputy president and "leave us to run the country". Nominated MP Shebesh warned Raila that Uhuru and Ruto were "fully" aware of the cases and he had no business revisiting the matter.

"We have always known that Raila is capable of facilitating a referral because he knows how the cases ended up in the Hague," said Naivasha MP Mututho.

Embakasi MP Ferdinand Waititu said the PM's statement was proof that the ICC cases were being pushed by foreigners. "We want to warn the PM that he should not politicise these cases for his own personal benefit," he said.

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