Why Ruto and Uhuru Need Shelve Presidential Ambitions

Some time in 2010, I wrote on this blog that I believe anyone can be president in Kenya as long as the checks and balances are working well. Under the now almost two years old Constitution, there are better checks and balances than we have had in the past. And I therefore see my dream coming true of a Kenya where it does not matter who you are as you have to fit into the system when you are president.

The country has already caught the election fever and despite the uncertainty over the election date, Kenya will have a new President in 2013. But there are two people who must drop their Presidential bid as early as today if they truly want us to trust their rhetoric that this country is bigger than any individual.

I have in various informal gatherings argued that even with the ambiguity in the law that makes it unclear if William Ruto and Uhuru Kenyatta can run for the Presidency with the ICC baggage on their back, their quest is a long shot. They do have the expensive option of taking flights from The Hague, assuming that their ICC trial coincide with the campaigns, and come home to seek for votes. Kenyans can even vote for them in absentia but if any of them forms the next government, this would be retrogressive to Kenya’s peace and development.

On Saturday, a lawyer friend directed me to Articles 143 and 145 of the Constitution on immunity of the President and impeachment. From the simple reading of the two Articles, it is evident that a government formed by an international crimes suspect would be handicapped as the President lacks immunity and can easily be impeached.

Article 143 (4) states; “The immunity of the President under this Article (143) shall not extend to a crime for which the President may be prosecuted under any treaty to which Kenya is party and which prohibits such immunity.”

Article 145 (1b) states; “A member of the National Assembly, supported by at least a third of all the members, may move a motion for the impeachment of the President— where there are serious reasons for believing that the President has committed a crime under national or international law.

This clearly shows that a Ruto or Uhuru Presidency would be faced with serious challenges of even taking off. This will not only threaten Kenya’s peace but is also likely to hamper the country’s development.

A President Ruto or President Uhuru would lack immunity and would be at the danger of being taken to court by any Kenyan. A President Ruto or President Uhuru would be easily be impeached by a Parliament that is not friendly or which sees the ICC case as an obstacle to the country’s social and economic well-being.

If the two gentlemen really care about the country as they have consistently said, it s my opinion that they should shelf their ambitions and “work” with the other “like-minded” leaders that they keep talking about and ensure that the country moves on even as they strive to clear their names. I believe Kenyans can always give them another chance to lead the country in future elections if they are cleared of the alleged crimes.


Meanwhile, Raila Odinga must put his house in order and ensure those working in his campaign secretariat do not issue statements such as that which was published on Sunday. Such statements not only taint him as a leader but also raise unnecessary tension in the country especially coming after the unauthenticated allegations that he is being imposed on Kenyans by Western Govenments.


13 thoughts on “Why Ruto and Uhuru Need Shelve Presidential Ambitions

  1. Pingback: Ruto And Uhuru Can Only Leave Race On Moral Grounds, Not Legal |

  2. I love the piece. What I foresee is the duo ending in the ballot since issues of integrity have not been given weight in our country. Integrity cuts across morality and personal responsibility and should it be considered and implemented ahead of the general election, then the two guys will have no chance in vying. What makes them stand a chance to vie is the loose ends in our law. Looking at the case of developed countries like America and UK where we borrow alot from, a person of questionable character or morality like the fallen soldier Herman Cain is barred from contesting. On the part of Raila, he should focus on his development record rather than politics of name calling. He should as well advice his campaign secretariat and point men like Ababu Namwamba to refrain fro politics of pointing fingers and focus on what a Raila Presidency has to offer to Kenya. Let them deal with the Manifesto and not individual characters.

  3. By releasing a statement on Sunday, Raila made things worse for himself. I will not be surprised if he is the first witness to be called once ICC cases go to full trial.
    If Raila, Uhuru and Ruto are our leading presidential candidates, then this country has no hope

  4. The PM has enough problems to sort out at ODM before engaging the NATION on his not unusual tactics. It’s time to make friends but not to enrage one another.
    In any case the issue of RUTO and UHURU’s innocence lies solely with the ICC. Moreover, the dual are not only Kenyans but also humans like all of us and therefore it is foolhardy to appear to rejoice for their predicaments knowing very well no human knows what the future portends. For tomorrow we may end up in more trouble than they.

  5. Great article Oliver. Demonstrates a good grasp of the key constitutional tenets of global and national governance that we must remain faithful to as we consider the proposal by uhuruto to run for the presidency of Kenya. The crux of it is moral, not merely legal. Verdict: Wajaribu wakati mwingine! Kwa sasa, wajishughulishe na yale yaliowakabili huko ICC. Shukhran!

  6. Well done oliver! Your article is well researched and demonstrates fidelity toi the key constitutional tenets of global and national governance that must be taken into account in attempting to evaluate the quest by Uhuruto for the presidency of our beloved Kenya. Verdict: Wajaribu wakati mwingine. Kwa sasa wajishughulishe na kutatua yaliowakabili huko ICC! Shukhran!!

  7. Finally an Oliver Mathenge article on #UhuRuto I can agree with! Thank you for ‘seeing’ the light Oliver!

  8. Besides what the law says, I think the fact that Uhuru and Ruto have had their integrity questioned would be enough reason for them to keep off the ballot. Be that as it may, it is defeatist for them to keep on this charade while their ‘own people’ who are IDPs haven’t gone back to where they had been uprooted by the violence. That is where they should start………..

    As for Raila and his shenanigans, maybe he has decided to stop being civil to Uhuru and Ruto and give as much they give him…..whether this will work or not is yet to be seen.

  9. good piece save for the part that you said the President lacks impunity and can easily be impeached,which doesn’t make sense if one was to stop reading at that point……reading on its not difficult to discern that you meant immunity.On RAO,he should what people of the fourth estate call walk the talk,he has preached demcracy for over decades;now its time that he practise it in his party and the first step is toremove that clause in the ODM constitution that says that the party leader gets a direct nomination;such a clause should not appear anywhere in a constitution of a party bearing the name “democratic”.

  10. Oliver, great piece.I believe we need our president to concentrate on the work elected to do rather than have to face charges against him/her.For the stability and prosperity of Kenya, i concur with you.

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