What would an election victory for Uhuru Kenyatta and running mate Ruto mean for the future of Kenya?
William Ruto is one of Kenya’s most popular politicians.
“They [the ICC] will have to live with the fact that we have been elected, not selected. We didn’t get to power through unconstitutional means …. I am confident that if the court is run by reasonable people, they will think about how to run the case and give us an opportunity to run the affairs of our country ….
The world should ask itself: A six, seven million people who vote for two gentlemen indicted by the ICC, are they mad or is there something absolutely wrong with the charges of the ICC?
The people of Kenya know … they were here in 2007 … They know what happened. And because they know the conspiracies around this case, in the ballot the people of Kenya want to prove that indeed we are innocent.“
He is running to become Kenya’s next vice president in the March 4 general election. But he also faces charges of crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court.
Many Kenyans hope the upcoming polls will turn the page on the post-election violence of five years ago.
Ironically, Ruto is accused of having been one of the instigators of that unrest.
A prominent leader of the Kalenjin tribe, he was indicted by the ICC for perpetrating interethnic violence that left more than 1,200 dead.
But he is revered as a hero within his community.
In what is seen as shrewd political move, Ruto joined forces with his once bitter rival, presidential candidate Uhuru Kenyatta, who also stands accused of crimes against humanity for his role in last election’s violence.
In an interview with Talk to Al Jazeera in January, Kenyatta said: “If Kenyans do vote for us, it will mean that Kenyans themselves have questioned the process that has landed us at the ICC. But that does not mean that we will cease to cooperate because … we understand and recognise the rule of law and we will continue to cooperate as long as we are signatories to the Rome Statute.”
Together, Ruto and Kenyatta represent two of Kenya’s biggest ethnic groups – that have always dominated the highest office.
In a country where people tend to vote along tribal lines, will theirs be the winning ticket? And what would their victory mean for the future of Kenya?
William Ruto Talks to Al Jazeera.
|Talk to Al Jazeera can be seen each week at the following times GMT: Saturday: 0430; Sunday: 0830, 1930; and Monday: 1430.|