Ruto moves to clear name in poll chaos report

Agriculture minister William Ruto has moved to court to have his name removed from a report linking him to post election violence. Phot/FILE

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  • Lady Justice Roselyn Wendo certifies the application urgent and allowed Mr Kigen to institute proceedings with a view of quashing the report.

Agriculture minister William Ruto Friday moved to court seeking to expunge his name from a report linking him to post-election violence.

In an application certified urgent, Mr Ruto says the report by the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) adversely mentions him as having participated in pre and post-2007 election violence.

He says the report titled: On the brink of precipice: A human rights account of Kenya’s post 2007 election violence accuses him of planning, inciting and financing the violence.

Through lawyer Katwa Kigen, the Eldoret North MP argued that he had managed to get a copy of the report from the KNCHR after his name was subjected to adverse publicity injuring his standing and reputation.

Lady Justice Roselyn Wendo certified the application urgent and allowed Mr Kigen to institute proceedings with a view of quashing the report.

The counsel told the court that the matter was so urgent as to be accorded priority since his reputation and standing had been subjected to adverse publicity. He said by failing to accord the suit a priority, he would continue to suffer irreparable loss and damage.

He faults the report saying it was compiled by KNCHR purporting to exercise its statutory jurisdiction but it ended up affecting his rights and legitimate expectations.

“The compilation is a report and is neither a judgment, nor an order, nor a decree, nor a conviction, nor judicial proceedings falling within a process that can be interpreted so as to fall in a class or resulting in a judgment, order, decree, nor proceedings,” said Mr Kigen.

He complained that Mr Ruto was never served formally nor notified of the existence of the report and the adverse comments on him contained in the report.

He has named the State-owned rights body as the respondent in the case after they re-launched the report on July 17, 2009.

He becomes the second minister after Finance minister Uhuru Kenyatta moved to court over the same matter.

Mr Kenyatta, who is also the Deputy Prime Minister, was allowed to institute proceedings to quash the findings and a bench appointed to hear the case.

The two-judge bench including Lady Justice Wendo and Lady Justice Abida Ali-Aroni will hear the case in February next year.

Mr Kenyatta has denied involvement in the skirmishes which left over 1,000 people dead and over 600,000 displaced.

He seeks to have his name expunged from that record.

KNHCR made presentations before the Justice Philip Waki-led commission which presented its findings to Mr Kofi Annan.
The Waki report forms part evidence to be further investigated by the International Criminal Court.

In his suit, Mr Ruto says that the commission never sought his response before publishing the report.

He said the implication was reckless as it was not based on any reasonable evidential material and that it was oppressive and unfair.

He denies the allegations made saying that he was instead during the post-election period, involved in asking people to maintain calm and shun violence.

“At all material times, the applicant addressed public rallies where he appealed toe Kenyans to maintain calm and shun the said violence,” he says in a sworn statement.

He cites case in the report where he has been accused of holding rallies allegedly inciting Kenyans. Some of the rallies were held in Kipkelion, Kericho and in the larger Kericho district and Sugoi, Turbo and Burnt Forest in the larger Uasin Gishu district.