President's absence in line with Constitution

President Uhuru Kenyatta and his South Sudan counterpart President Salva Kiir hold a press briefing on the South Sudan Crisis at the State House in Juba, South Sudan. PHOTO | PSCU

What you need to know:

  • In a statement sent to newsrooms Friday night, Mr Esipisu said that the President left the country to attend to urgent business.

State House has clarified that the absence of both President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto from the country on Wednesday was in line with the Constitution.

In a statement sent to newsrooms Friday night, State House Spokesperson Manoah Esipisu said that the president left the country to attend to urgent business.

He said that owing to the President's capacity as the chair of the East African Community and as mediator in the South Sudan conflict, the trip to the troubled country could not be postponed.

"It must be emphasised that the Juba visit was occasioned by the extraordinary nature of the South Sudan conflict, and its obvious implications to the peace, security and stability of Kenya," the statement said.

"President Kenyatta departed mid morning, and returned late afternoon. During his time there, he held fruitful talks with President Salva Kiir of the Republic of South Sudan," he said, adding that the aim of the visit was to "assist in the urgent mediation effort" in the country.

Earlier, Deputy President William Ruto had left the country to represent President Kenyatta in the 17th Common Market for Eastern and Central Africa (COMESA) Heads of State summit and thereafter an official event in the Nigerian capital Abuja.

Both the president and the deputy president were away on Wednesday February 26.

Both President Kenyatta and his deputy have argued in before the ICC where they are both charged with crimes against humanity that the constitution does not allow them to be out of the country at the same time.

That ICC had bought the argument and even agreed to alternate their trials. Also Mr Ruto has been able to convince the ICC to grant him absence from the trials when the president is due to travel out of the country on the basis that argument that both of them cannot be out at the same time.