President Uhuru Kenyatta inspects a guard of honour at Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi on Tuesday, during festivities to mark the 52nd Mashujaa Day. Photo/PSCU
ICC judges cannot tell Kenyans whether or not to pray about cases “because we know the value of those prayers”, President Uhuru Kenyatta has said.
Uhuru lashed out at presiding judge Chile Osuji, who asked Kenyans opposed to the cases not to bully the ICC, saying more prayer rallies will be held.
“Stop this ICC issue. The judge cannot tell us we cannot pray. We believe in God and will keep praying,” he said, adding that Osuji’s remarks should not worry the public.
“Kenyans should work together and forget those who keep rubbing the ICC issue on our faces.”
Speaking at Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi on Tuesday, during the Mashujaa Day fete, Uhuru said the public should fight against division resulting from trivial politics.
He urged unity in handling pending challenges and asked individuals pushing the ICC agenda “to leave us alone to build our country”.
Last week Friday, Osuji warned Kenya against commenting on DP William Ruto and former journalist Joshua Sang’s cases saying they should be allowed to do their work.
He said remarks by various individuals were “old conduct that has been observed even before the start of the evidential hearing of the cases”.
“Our attention has been drawn to unending clamour in Kenyan media about proceedings in this case. I hope people will leave this case alone and let judges do their work,” he said.
The ICC also appealed to Kenya to protect key witnesses against the accused, saying they may be in danger because of all the accusations and claims that some identities are known.
The Jubilee coalition and Ruto’s supporters have launched a furious anti-ICC campaign that includes nationwide prayer rallies for the accused, and regular denunciation of the court.
The situation has been complicated by claims and counterclaims of who allegedly procured and coached which witnesses against Ruto and Sang.
Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria issued various remarks on the case, including claims several leaders helped him procure five false witnesses.
On October 14, he said he apologised to the DP’s family for coaching witnesses to testify against him before the commissions, adding he told the truth to Sang’s mother and father.