28 October 2013

Kenya: Uhuru Hints at ICC Trial Snub

Photo: Benedikt von Loebel/WEF
President Uhuru Kenyatta has hinted at the possibility of not attending his trial at the International Criminal Court (file photo).

PRESIDENT Uhuru Kenyatta has hinted that he may not go to The Hague. Uhuru, who was speaking in Loitoktok after several MPs, senators and gover- nors urged him not to heed the ICC's summons, said:

"Hiyo mambo wenzangu wameongea sitaki kuongea zaidi, tuko hapo hapo laini hiyo, (I would not like to comment more on what my friends have said)," he said.

The President was seen clapping when Kajiado Governor David Nkedianye said he has no business going to The Hague because he was elected to serve Kenyans and not "other interests".

Othaya MP Mary Wambui told the President not to go to The Hague because Kenyans will block all the exit routes. "We as Jubilee MPs will block JKIA and ensure that you do not go anywhere," she said. Lawmakers allied to TNA met in Parliament last week and agreed that Uhuru will not be "allowed" to leave Kenya.

"We met as TNA MPs and resolved that our party leader will not leave for that kangaroo Hague court. If you attempt to leave with- out our authority, you will be doing that at your own peril," Bahati MP Onesmus Ngunjiri told Uhuru.

The President said local media misreported the September 21 Westgate Mall attack. He said journalists reported recklessly instead of acting responsibly and within the law to protect the families of those who were affected by the tragedy. Uhuru said Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo's remarks last week on how some journalists covered the attack were not meant to curtail media free- dom. "Kimaiyo only cautioned over coverage that appeared to give too much publicity to the attackers," he said.

Uhuru urged journalists to be sensitive to the families of those killed or injured in such attacks. "I have been to many countries, but I have never seen TV footage aired live as people are being shot," he said.

Uhuru said the security forces are devoted to tack- ling crime and they should be respected because they "sacrificed" to protect the country.

"For the Fourth Estate, don't be people who glorify criminals who want to harm Kenyans. Do not demoralise our security officers. They have my full support because security is key to all of us," he said. "You can say press freedom, mimi mtanitusi mpaka ng'ombe warudi kwa boma na mimi sitashtuka. Mimi sitajali (you will abuse me until the cows come back to the shed, I will not be cowed, and I will not care)."

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