Allow ‘pre-intimidation testimony’ in Ruto ICC case: prosecutor

The International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor wants judges to allow her to use testimony from witnesses who later withdrew from her faltering case against Kenya’s Vice President William Ruto.

The call came after prosecutor Fatou Bensouda already had to withdraw charges against the east African country’s President Uhuru Kenyatta for post-election violence in 2007-08 amid widespread accusations of witness intimidation.

Vice president Ruto and radio host Joshua arap Sang remain on trial before the Hague-based court for their alleged role in violence which prosecutors say left more than 1,200 dead and displaced 600,000 others.

In Ruto’s case, the prosecution has been “deprived of the evidence necessary to prove its case by virtue of the improper interference with its witnesses,” Bensouda said in a court document seen on Friday.

“No fewer than 16 of the prosecution’s 42 original witnesses have withdrawn their cooperation… and refused to testify, citing threats, intimidation and, or fears of reprisals,” she said in the filing, published on the ICC’s website.

Bensouda therefore urged judges to allow the admissibility “of records of prior interviews of missing and recanting witnesses who succumbed to improper influences.”

“Not to do so would deny the Chamber the ability to assess the whole of the evidence. It would also reward an attempt to obstruct justice,” she said.

If judges rule in favour of her request it would set a precedent at the world’s only permanent independent body to try the worst crimes, set up in 2002.

The ICC has come under fire including from Africa, which has accused it of unfairly targeting offenders from that continent.

Kenya itself has been at the forefront of an international campaign to put Kenyatta’s trial on hold as well as that of his rival-turned-partner Ruto.

Like Kenyatta, Ruto rejects the charges.

Prosecutors throughout a marathon five-year probe have consistently alleged major witness intimidation and bribery.

In Kenya, bitter memories remain of the unrest which shattered the country’s image as a beacon of regional stability.

Violence broke out after opposition chief Raila Odinga accused then president Mwai Kibaki of rigging his way to re-election in the vote, held in late 2007.

What began as political riots quickly turned into ethnic killings of Kenyatta’s Kikuyu tribe, who in turn launched reprisal attacks in the worst wave of violence to hit Kenya since independence in 1963.

Photo Credits : AFP

President Uhuru Kenyatta and DP Ruto take 20% pay cut

The president and his deputy have finally taken a 20 per cent pay cut each that they promised last year. Salaries and Remuneration Commission (SRC) chairperson Sarah Serem said that she could not reveal the actual amount deducted but an account had been opened for that purpose and wanted the funds used for development.

Serem also said that 20 senior government employees including transport secretary Michael Kamau, Health secretary James Macharia and senate majority leader Kithure Kindiki took a 10% pay cut from last year.

Uhuru and Ruto had pledged the pay cut in March 2014 in an attempt to help lower the public wage bill.

Deputy president spends his holiday walking with lions and cheetahs – photos

Deputy President William Ruto seems to have had a good holiday if recent photos of him and his family shared on social media are anything to go by. He spent his holiday in Lvingstone Zambia walking with lions and cheetahs which and describes it as a lifetime experience.

The lion encounter according to their website is an active conservation program that is passionate about ensuring a secure future for the African lion. It offers various activities that people can take part in, all in support of the larger conservation efforts to save the African Lion.

Check out his holiday from the photos below:

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We’ll support you in 2022, TNA assures William Ruto

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s TNA has moved to reassure their URP ruling coalition counterparts of the party’s “unwavering” political support for Deputy President William Ruto if he runs for President in 2022, and in his ongoing ICC trial.

This comes amid anxiety among Ruto supporters that the DP may be receiving only lukewarm State support in his trial on crimes against humanity charges linked to the 2007-08 post-election violence.

Ruto is on trial alongside his co-accused, former radio journalist Joshua Sang’.

The state of panic among Ruto’s supporters in his Rift Valley backyard, where Sang’ also comes from, has forced the ruling alliance to develop an image-saving strategy to boost public confidence and avert more damage.

Jubilee political strategists have crafted a new coalition-saving master-plan to dispel fears that the withdrawal of Uhuru’s case by the ICC could spell doom for the TNA and URP union.


Witness sticks to his testimony that Ruto made inciting speeches

A witness told the ICC he was standing by his statement to the prosecution that he heard William Samoei Ruto make inciting remarks during a 2005 function at which then President Mwai Kibaki was present.

Witness 658 said this on Tuesday as Ruto’s lead lawyer, Karim Khan, repeatedly asked him whether he heard Ruto call for the eviction of Kikuyus and Luhyas in a video of the function Khan played in court.

The function was held on October 19, 2005 to commemorate the centenary of the death of a leader of the Nandi, Koitalel Samoei, who was killed by British colonialists. The Nandi are a sub-group of the Kalenjin ethnic group.

The witness is testifying in the trial of Ruto and former journalist Joshua arap Sang who face three counts of crimes against humanity for their alleged roles in the bloodshed that followed the December 2007 elections.


State asks ICC to withdraw DP Ruto’s case

The state has begun pushing for the winding up of the ICC case against Deputy President William Ruto as a high-profile meeting of the court’s signatory states in the US.

President Uhuru Kenyatta’s ICC case was dropped on December 5. Kenya’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Macharia Kamau requested the UN for “expeditious conclusion of the case” in a letter dated December 5.

There are fears that the collapse of the President’s case could strain the special relationship within the Jubilee administration, with the possibility that the prosecutors at The Hague could now tighten the noose around Ruto.

“The government of Kenya in appreciating the withdrawal of charges [against Uhuru], further calls on the expeditious conclusion of the case against the Deputy President as this would go a long way in facilitating normalcy in our country and securing our democracy and long term peace and security,” Kamau said.

On Sunday, Uhuru said he believes Ruto’s and journalist Joshua Sang’s cases will soon be concluded.

“We will continue to fight to ensure justice is done to them and they are released,” he said.


Ruto skips Harambee after noticing Sonko wasn’t invited

Word has it that Deputy President William Ruto was on Friday forced to skip a fundraiser in Kayole after he found out that Senator Mike Sonko had not been invited.
The flamboyant senator has had a problem with most Jubilee MPs who do not invite him to their meetings.
Ruto called Sonko and convinced him to attend the harambee on his behalf.
He gave the Senator his and President Uhuru’s donation of Sh500,000 each.
Kayole South MCA Elizabeth Manyala also complained that she was not invited to the fundraiser.
She skipped the function, which has received little media attention despite Sh8 million being raised.
-The Star

We will stop at nothing to pursue terrorists – Ruto

The government will not allow places of worship to be hijacked by criminals bent on destroying the country, Deputy President William Ruto has warned.

He said that recent security operations had discovered armouries in mosques where guns, grenades and bomb-making materials, crude weapons including machetes and knives were kept.

“Our security forces will stop at nothing in their duty to pursue terrorists and their accomplices wherever they are,” Ruto said.

He said that other radicalized propaganda literature and Al Shabaab insignia including flags not holy books were found stored in these houses of worship.

“It is completely unacceptable that would-be holy places can be turned into battle pavilions and holding grounds for artillery meant to inflict injury, suffering and death to Kenyans,” said Ruto.

Ruto was addressing a press conference on Sunday at his Harambee house office in the light of the terror attack on a bus in Mandera that killed 28 people.

Ruto however, noted government has no intention of taking over places of worship, but warned those opposing measures being undertaken by security forces in a cleanup operation.

“Instead of supporting the government’s cleanup operation, they have chosen to castigate the Security Forces, these people cite the constitutional guarantees for the freedom of worship and claim that the security forces have violated this right,” he said.

He stated that leadership comes with responsibility and adding such individuals should cease from whipping up emotions amongst communities, and to offer terrorists and their sympathisers a false sense of comfort.

Ruto was categorical that as far as law enforcement was concerned, a church, synagogue, mosque, shrine or any other place of worship becomes a scene of crime once it is used for criminal activities.

He said that all those engaging in hate speech will be dealt with according to the law.

“The Government takes great exception to this type of leadership that promotes hate-speech and incitement of Kenyans and will hold those responsible accountable for every utterance and action that promotes disharmony and war-like activities,”he said.

Ruto reiterated Government’s commitment to assure the safety and security of every Kenyans and visitors wherever they are.


We will hunt Mandera killers even if it means going to Somalia-Ruto

The Government has mobilized all security agencies to hunt down those behind the killing of 28 people in Mandera County Saturday, Deputy President William Ruto has said.

Ruto said security agencies including security intelligence officers and police among other security arms of the Government have been ordered to hunt down all those responsible for the killings.

“Security personnel are now on a hot pursuit of those criminals responsible for the killing of innocent people in a Mandera bound bus today. They must all bring all the culprits to book irrespective of where they are even if they have fled to the neighbouring Somalia,” said Ruto

He was speaking during a funds-drive in aid of Barwesa secondary school in Baringo County on Saturday.


Ruto condemns stripping of woman

Deputy President William Ruto today condemned the recent action where a woman was stripped in public at Embakasi, Nairobi saying it was barbaric.

Noting is was against the woman’s rights, Ruto noted that she had the right to dress the way she deemed fit and those who undressed her in public must face the full force of the law.

Speaking at Chwele Girls High school in Bungoma County, Ruto asked Kenyans to respect the rights of women, children and other vulnerable members of the society and avoid taking the law into their own hands whenever their sensibilities have been offended.

The DP at the same time decried increased cases of pregnancies among school girls in Bungoma County saying it was a major drawback to the education of the girl child in the area.

He said: “ Those who impregnate school girls and those who strip women belong to the same group of people and must be dealt with according to the law. I ask chiefs and their assistants to take action on such sex pests to keep them away from the society.”

Source: The Star

Racheal Ruto urges women to contest for public tenders

Women have been urged to join women groups that will give them access to affordable credit to invest in income generating projects but source capital from credible financial institution.

Deputy President William Ruto’s wife Rachel on Saturday appealed to women to avoid modern shylocks who give them loans at high rates saying this has been a major impediment to the growth of small businesses.

Rachel, the patron of Joyful Women Organization (JoyWo), asked women to practice table banking, a concept crafted by the government to empower women.

“No woman should be left behind as we embark on a mission to empower women economically through table banking,” she said.

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Kisumu residents dismiss ‘President Ruto’

Kisumu residents dismissed as a political gimmick Uhuru Kenyatta’s move to appoint William Ruto as acting president.

Through the Kisumu City Residents Voice association, they see the move simply meant at appeasing the people of Rift Valley.

“It is a strategy to woo the already rebellious Rift Valley block. The president simply wants to compromise the political mood in the country,” the group’s chairman Audi Ogada said.

Ogada said Kenyatta wants to appease the people of Rift Valley so that they do not focus on Cord’s referendum push as a united block.

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