Thursday, March 14, 2013

Kenya: Kenyan religious groups ready to work with President-elect, despite his war crime indictment

‘Let them have a chance to speak at the Hague, and let the ICC decide’, says Catholic leader   
Amongst their first formal meetings as President and Deputy President-elect of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto on Tuesday 12th March met senior religious leaders, even ahead of meeting outgoing President Mwai Kibaki.  

Mr. Uhuru emerged the winner by garnering 6173,453 votes, meeting the threshold of the country’s Constitution which required a 50% + 1 vote of all total votes cast. This was the first election to be held under a new Constitution passed by Kenyans in 2010.

The threshold requirement was the first of its kind in the country, aimed at ensuring Kenya does not slip into a situation such as the last elections in 2007, where disputed Presidential results led to post-election violence. Over a thousand people were killed and 660,000 displaced from their homes.

Uhuru Kenyatta (son of Kenya’s first post-Independence President Jomo Kenyatta) and his Deputy face indictment at the International Criminal Court in the Hague, charged for their alleged role in organising that 2007-8 post-election violence.  

During his meeting with religious leaders, held at the symbolically-named Kenyatta International Conference Centre, Kenyatta urged politicians and all Kenyans to rise above the partisanship of the latest campaign period and join hands to build the country.

The President-elect said Kenyans should focus on nation building, adding that in his government there will be no losers or winners.

Kenyatta said that religious leaders are the custodians of conscience and commended them for playing what he called the ‘noble’ role of calling upon the political leadership to maintain high standards of probity and integrity, and to keep to the straight path, however narrow it may be.

“I congratulate the religious leadership for the manner in which it has continued to engage the political leadership in all matters of national interest. My government will nurture this tradition,” said Kenyatta.

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