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'Every Kenyan' has had to pay bribes, says ex-PM Odinga

05 May 2016, 21:35

Nairobi - Kenya's former prime minister, Raila Odinga, has decried corruption in the east African country, admitting that "every Kenyan", including himself, has had to pay bribes to get things done.

In an interview expected to air on Friday, Odinga told Al Jazeera's, Head to Head miniseries that he had also "been offered bribes" in the past. He was, however, quick to say that he never considered taking them.

"The question is 'when', it's not 'if'," he quipped.

Odinga added that he would "certainly" jail corrupt officials if he was elected president.

Kenya is expected to go to the polls next year.

The former prime minister expressed concern over the country's electoral body, saying that he saw no reasons for participation without reforms.

"There will be no reason for us to participate," Odinga said.

According to recent reports, Odinga was recently caught up in teargas fired by police during protests against the electoral body, the  Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

Odinga was in the company of other opposition leaders, including Kalonzo Munsyoka and Moses Wetang’ula, who were both co-principals of the opposition coalition CORD.

The protesters demanded the ouster of IEBC commissioners over alleged malpractices in the last general election.

Speaking on the recent collapse of the International Criminal Court (ICC) trial of Deputy Vice President William Ruto (his former ally at the time of the disputed 2007 election), for crimes against humanity, Odinga said it would have "been better for Ruto to have gone through a full trial and then [be] discharged for lack of evidence", rather than a mistrial.

Odinga slammed the Kenyan government for an "intolerable amount of interference" in the ICC case. He was also critical of the African Union's (AU) "hypocritical relationship" with the ICC. The AU had previously threatened to withdraw from the international court. 

"The AU has not been honest with themselves because they are saying that ICC targets African leaders, and I’ve said it’s hogwash… Most of the African leaders who were before the ICC have been referred there by Africans themselves," said Odinga.

Odinga's statement came a few days after Ruto launched a scathing attack on the ICC, saying the court staff engaged in illicit sexual activities with witnesses and their families in exchange for false evidence against him.

Ruto was released from the ICC last month.

- News24


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