• The former Prime Minister further said the pastors were among the people who supposedly sanctified State House when Ruto moved in.
• He said Parliament must swing into action and come and form a select committee to get to the root of cultic activities in the country and abuse of religion for political gain.
Azimio leader Raila Odinga has dismissed plans by President William Ruto to form a Commission of Inquiry to look into the Shakahola deaths, claiming he is much a suspect as those he wants probed.
In a statement on Monday, the Azimio leader claimed, without proof, that the preachers linked to the deaths at the Shakahola Forest set up sanctuaries at Ruto’s former official residence in Karen when he was Deputy President.
“They did not stop there, these so called pastors proceeded to deliver prophecies and promised miracles of how Ruto would perform as a President.”
The former Prime Minister further claimed that the pastors aided the introduction of mandatory fasting at the DP’s residence in Karen in 2015.
He said the fasting was carried over to State House where everyone is compelled to fast every Wednesday regardless of their faith, “making State House essentially a Shakahola annex.”
Raila also claimed the pastors were among the people who supposedly sanctified State House when Ruto moved in.
"These so-called pastors have organised mega rallies attended by prayer warriors, attended by Ruto, Rigathi Gachagua and their spouses supposedly to sanctify the land. They ended up defiling the land,” Raila said.
“They must tell Kenyans when and how they knew about these cult leaders. How much they contributed to their campaigns and how many times they have accessed State House since the start of the regime,” Raila said in a press statement on Monday.
Ruto has announced that he will appoint a Judicial Commission of Inquiry to conduct investigations into the Shakahola massacre.
So far, 109 bodies have been dug out of dozens of shallow graves from the forest while over 400 people believed to have been followers of Good News International Church presiding pastor Paul Mackenzie have been reported missing.
"This week, I will appoint a Judicial Commission of Inquiry so that we can get to the bottom of what happened in Shakahola with Mackenzie and all his collaborators," Ruto said on Sunday.
Mackenzie and Televangelist Ezekiel Odero of New Life Prayer Centre and Church are in custody in relation to the deaths.
Raila faulted Ruto's plan to form a judicial commission of inquiry to look into the activities of their ministries saying it goes against the edicts of the Constitution.
"Commission of inquiries are the choice for governments when they have something to hide, like Ruto does now,” Raila claimed.
He said the President owes Kenyans an explanation on the events at Shakahola before he purports to try and solve the problem.
Raila said only Parliament can establish a subordinate court or independent tribunal through an act of Parliament.
Raila added that only Parliament can also determine the jurisdiction and functions of a court or independent tribunal.
He said unlike in the past, the President no longer has powers to make decisions on the Constitution of a court or independent tribunal.
“Yet again Ruto, is trying to undermine and overthrow the Constitution. Only Judicial Service Commission can determine who will be employed to serve in such a tribunal,” he stated.
Raila said Parliament must swing into action and form a select committee to get to the root of cultic activities in the country and abuse of religion for political gain.
He added that the House should also establish whether the deaths in Shakahola were acts of rogue pastors, human sacrifices or trade in body organs.
“The blanket restriction placed on independent observers including the media from visiting the area must be lifted immediately," he said.