The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Uhuru Meets Burundi President in Bujumbura

DEPUTY Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday extended his diplomatic charm offensive when he met Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza at the presidential palace in Bujumbura.

The DPM was accompanied by ministers Charity Ngilu, Eugene Wamalwa, and MPs Najib Balala, Musikari Kombo and Kiema Kilonzo.

Yesterday, the Star reported that Uhuru was due to sign his final election pact with Eldoret North MP William Ruto and six other politicians in Bujumbura. It is not clear whether the signing actually went ahead yesterday.

The eight members of the alliance hope that they can now win the presidential election in March. Uhuru has been meeting regional leaders in the past one month as he lobbies African leaders to support Kenya's quest to bring back the ICC cases to Kenya.

Uhuru's press team only sent pictures from the meeting but it is understood that the DPM requested the Burundi President to support the African Union which argues that African disputes require African solutions.

Last month, Uhuru,who is eyeing the presidency on the TNA ticket, met Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete who said Kenyans should be left to decide their destiny without foreign intervention.

A week later, Uhuru met South Sudan Vice President Riek Machar in Nairobi. Uhuru and Eldoret North MP William Ruto are facing charges of crimes against humanity at the ICC over the 2007/08 post election violence.

The two have agreed on a pact to run as president and deputy president in the March 4, 2013 election. Ruto and Uhuru argue that the international community is using the ICC to block them and make Prime Minister Raila Odinga president.

They want to build a formidable alliance that can win the elections in the first round and avoid a run off. If there is a second round poll, it will be held on April 11. Uhuru and Ruto are due to start their trials in the Hague on April 10 and 11.

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