The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Donors Will Keep Off Ruto, Uhuru Counties - Bett

A Cabinet minister has warned that two county governments will be at a disadvantage if two presidential hopefuls are elected. Roads minister Franklin Bett said the counties associated with Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Eldoret North MP William Ruto will be unable to solicit donor funds.

Uhuru and Ruto are facing criminal charges at the International Criminal Court for their role in the 2007-08 post-election violence. Under the devolved system of government counties can borrow loans and grants from donors.

However, Bett said, funds will be subjected to some conditions. "Some of these conditions are usually clear, for instance, no county will be given funds or grants if it is affiliated to groups or individuals who are accused or wanted for crimes perceived to be of international magnitude," he said.

Bett was speaking to the star at Gracemond Resort in Eldoret. The minister cited Iran which has been slammed by numerous sanctions by the US and the UN for its nuclear programme saying the same is bound to happen to the county governments associated with the two aspirants.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, UN former secretary general Kofi Annan and ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda have warned the country against electing the two in recent visits to the country.

Bett appealed to TNA's Uhuru and URP's Ruto to rethink their political ambitions for the interest of Kenyans. "If Uhuru and Ruto have the interests of this country at heart, they should first clear their names then vie for their respective posts. It will reflect badly for the nation when a few days after swearing them in, they are arraigned in court," he said.

Betts remarks comes a day after the Prime Minister, while on a tour in Eldoret to meet with Kalenjin elders on Monday, said Uhuru and Ruto cannot avoid the ICC cases, even if they were elected president and deputy president.

The trials for the two are scheduled for April next year and will coincide with the run-off should there be no clear winner in the first round of voting.

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