- The legislator said DP Ruto should distance himself from messages and people preaching hatred.
- Ruto has since apologised and warned his supporters against making pronouncements that can trigger tension.
Mt Kenya region will not support candidates who preach hatred among communities, Kieni MP Kanini Kega said on Monday.
The lawmaker said incitement could cause chaos similar to what was witnessed in the aftermath of the disputed 2007 presidential election.
He was referring to Meru Senator Mithika Linturi’s Saturday remarks about madoadoa.
Linturi was arrested on Sunday over the matter.
On Monday, Deputy President William Ruto condemned the remarks by Linturi and asked his UDA lieutenants to shun reckless talk that could cause friction among communities.
But Kega, who spoke at his Kieni backyard in Nyeri county, said Ruto must distance himself from hateful messages.
Kega said the DP was the convener of the Eldoret Sports Club meeting where Linturi spoke and, therefore, should take responsibility.
He further said he should seek forgiveness from Kenyans and especially those who were affected by the 2007-08 post election violence.
“You cannot be a presidential candidate and the people behind you and those with you are spitting venom and preaching hatred,” Kega said.
He said sentiment that people who do not belong to certain political parties should be ejected from some regions is hate speech.
“Being a political year and Eldoret being the epicentre of the post election violence, it should have been the least place for any person to make that kind of pronouncement,” he said.
“Whether they mean people supporting a particular individual or not, it doesn’t matter. The mention of the word madoadoa (spots) invokes memories of people who were killed.”
He said there are people still living in Internally Displaced Persons camps and others who were ejected from the Rift Valley region and have never been able to go back there.
He also called on the DP to let parties in Mt Kenya have the independence and be left to thrive so that there is competition.
There have been claims that the Ruto-led party has been pushing members of other parties in the region to fold and join UDA.
But the MP said forcing other parties to fold and form only one dominant party will encourage rigging in party nominations.
Kega said he was happy with the Political Parties Act which will help people exercise party democracy.
The Act went through the National Assembly and will now be tabled in the Senate.
The legislator expressed optimism that it will sail through faster in the Senate than the National Assembly where it had challenges.
“This is because it is a good piece of legislation and for sure it will entrench multipartyism, which is very well entrenched in the constitution,” he said.
The amendments will give life to even the small parties which have in the past been muzzled by big parties, he added.
He cited the Jubilee Party which was formed by collapsing thirteen parties but members of the parties still complained they did not get a fair share.
The same issue has been experienced in ODM and the defunct National Super Alliance team.
“So this one is bringing equity and I know that the Senate will be able to pass it so that the President can assent to it,” he said.
He said it will enable parties forming the Azimio La Umoja movement to retain their small parties and identities.
Kega expressed hope that the Bill will be on the President’s table for signing into law by the end of the month.
The lawmaker added that the Jubilee Party will hold its National Delegates Conference after the enactment of the law as there are some amendments that will have some implication on the parties’ decisions.
(edited by Amol Awuor)