The people behind documents tabled in Parliament alleging UK conspiracy to have President Kibaki charged at the ICC over 2007/08 chaos were malicious and intended to destabilise Kenya ahead of polls, a visiting UK minister has said.
Mr Henry Bellingham, UK’s minister for Africa, said the attempt to drag the names of President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga into the dossier that MPs tabled in Parliament last month was meant to create divisions and derail the push for a peaceful General Election.
“I am concerned that, among the preposterous allegations, His Excellency the President and the Right Honourable Prime Minister were dragged into this in an attempt to create division and instability just when Kenya needs a stable and peaceful environment to conduct elections,’’ Mr Bellingham told a news conference in Nairobi on Monday.
He denounced the documents, which alleged that Britain was conspiring to have President Kibaki charged with crimes against humanity on retirement, saying they were not genuine.
Planned weeks before
The minister dismissed speculation that his visit had anything to do with the sensational allegations made in Parliament by MPs allied to Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Eldoret North MP William Ruto, saying the trip had been planned weeks earlier.
The papers, tabled by Yatta MP Charles Kilonzo, claimed that the UK was also planning to prop up Mr Odinga for the presidency so he could facilitate President Kibaki’s hand-over to ICC.
Mr Bellingham said the objective of his visit was “to discuss the many shared interests between UK and Kenya as well as regional interests such as Somalia.’’
While Britain had an interest in Kenya’s elections, he said, his government would not back any candidate or political party, and consequently, would not be interested in any particular outcome.
“We support transparent, credible, peaceful elections in Kenya which produce results that the people of Kenya, of whatever political persuasion, accept as the legitimate,’’ Mr Bellingham said, while announcing that he had, at a round table co-chaired by outgoing Foreign Affairs minister Moses Wetang’ula, discussed “the build-up to Kenya’s elections.’’
Asked to comment on insinuations in an article by British MP for Northern Ireland Ian Paisley that contents of the document were genuine, Mr Bellingham dismissed him as “a junior MP who was not a member of the (ruling) coalition’’ and declined to comment further.
Mr Bellingham met Mr Moses Wetang’ula, who was transferred to the Trade docket on Monday, Internal Security Minister George Saitoti and the National Security Intelligent Services boss Michael Gichangi before addressing the media.
Mr Wetang’ula explained that the Attorney-General, and Immigration Minister Otieno Kajwang, outgoing Trade minister Chirau Mwakwere and Energy minister Kiraitu Murungi missed out on the meeting because they were held up at a presidential function at the KICC.
Mr Wetang’ula said they discussed Immigration, Constitution, Security, elections, Judiciary energy and refugees as well as a follow-up to the recent London conference on Somalia.
On Saturday, the UK minister visited Mombasa and launched a joint campaign with the government aimed at ensuring safety in the Indian Ocean.
The SeaSafe campaign, launched aboard British ship HMS Westminister, will see the Kenya tourist industry and the government provide safety advice to visitors “that will help them enjoy the Indian Ocean.’’
Mr Bellingham on Sunday held meetings with the UN special representatives to Somalia, Mogadishu mayor and Amisom force commanders. (READ: UK denies Kibaki ICC plot)