ODM rebel MPs claim Pentagon behind poll chaos

Chepalungu MP Isaac Ruto was joined by four ODM MPs in claiming that the party's top leadership organ is to blame for the post-election violence that rocked Kenya following the disputed 2007 elections October 6, 2010. FILE

Two ODM MPs have claimed the party's top leadership organ is to blame for the post-election violence that rocked Kenya following the disputed 2007 elections.

Isaac Ruto (Chepalungu, ODM) and Charles Keter (Belgut, ODM) claimed the party’s pentagon team held several meetings to plan mass action.

The Pentagon top brass included Raila Odinga, Musalia Mudavadi, William Ruto, Najib Balala, Joe Nyaga and Charity Ngilu, who all serve in the Coalition Government.

The two were among five MPs from Rift Valley who demanded Thursday that Prime Minister Raila Odinga should present to the International Criminal Court (ICC) minutes of the ODM meetings that planned the post-election chaos.

“Every time we had meetings and discussed mass action plans,” Mr Ruto claimed during a press conference at Parliament Buildings.

He said the PM should give the ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo the ‘mass action minutes’ of meetings that were held to protest the outcome of the vote.

Asked to confirm the claims, Mr Keter added that the ODM “had meetings from time to time".

“We welcome the ICC to do their investigations thoroughly as they seek minutes from the Provincial Administration, they should extend the same to the ODM and there should be no bias and be balanced and extend to the ODM minutes,” Mr Keter said.

The five MPs convened a press conference to announce that they will not be attending a public forum that will be led by the PM in Kericho Friday.

The others were: Zakayo Cheruyoit (Kuresoi, ODM), Julius Kones (Konoin, ODM) and Benjamin Langat (Ainamoi, ODM).

They had received an invitation from the Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister Dr Mohamed Isahakia to attend the forum meant educate the locals on the provisions of the new Constitution. It will take place at the Tea Research Training Centre starting 10.30 a.m.

The MPs were in the ‘No’ team which opposed the new Constitution. They declared that their position has not changed.

“If the people want, I can speak to the ‘Yes’ people,” Mr Ruto said.

The invitation letter to the local MPs says it will be preceded by a consultative meeting of party officials at the Tea Hotel from 9.00 a.m.

The PM had asked the MPs to join him at both events and to identify six youth, women, elders, professional and councillors totalling to thirty people from their constituencies to attend the forum.

But the MPs said they will have other engagements and "can only help improve the PM’s agenda by reminding him some of the things he needs to do for the locals and Kenyans at large".

“On that day we already have other engagements so we will forward our recommendations,” they stated.

The MPs described the PM’s agenda as "very strange" and said civic education on the provisions of the new Constitution was not a priority to the people of Rift Valley.

“Of course we are grateful because we may still be ignorant of what is contained there but we don’t think our ignorance is a priority now,” said the Chepalungu MP.

Among others, the MPs said the PM should be more concerned with the resettlement of people who are still living in camps in Kuresoi and Konoin saying they hope he will use his visit to announce the date of their resettlement.

Further, they reminded the PM his promise two years ago of Sh20 million to rehabilitate the road connecting Kipkelion and Kuresoi.

“We hope he also delivered the minutes to Ocampo and we believe he will be doing no favour addressing those issues than addressing the Constitution that is already functional and we will learn of its contents as we go on,” Mr Ruto said.

Mr Langat said the PM’s visit was a bit misplaced as there were more pressing matters.

“He should pass through the camps and explain to the people there why he felt they should be there and when he is going to get them homes,” he said.

Further, he said the PM should be reminded that 150 people were shot dead by police during the post-election violence.

“He should tell their families what compensation they shall receive,” he said.

Mr Keter said the MPs were aware the education will give special focus on the running of counties and said the locals can educate themselves.

“We want to tell the PM that we went to school and have lawyers and we can tell our people what is contained there,” he stated.

He equated the PM’s visit to an insult stating: “ He should find other things to do because it means he is doubting the integrity and capacity of the people of Kericho.”

“There are issues he can do better than educating us on the Constitution,” he said.

The MP said Rift Valley’s position on the Constitution has not changed.

“We made a decision as a region and unless he is coming to the Yes people, we will stand by that,” said the MP.

“We hope he is going to respond to the peoples’ concerns,” he said.