SAY COMMUNITY BELITTLED

Kamba MPs blast Raila, demand apology over slur

Politicians say ODM leader ungrateful for support during 2013 and 2017 general elections

In Summary

'Unajua Wakamba ni waaminifu na wao ni kama akina mama wakisema watakupatia watakupatia (You know Kambas are very honest like women. If they say they will give you then, they will do exactly that)'

Kitui Senator Enoch Wambua at Kongowea in Mombasa
IRKED; Kitui Senator Enoch Wambua at Kongowea in Mombasa
Image: JOHN CHESOLI

 

More than 10 lawmakers from Ukambani have demanded an apology from ODM leader Raila Odinga over an alleged slur made during campaigns in Kibra, Nairobi.

Raila who was campaigning for ODM's Imran Okoth said likened the community to women, saying they were honest people.

The lawmakers on Tuesday said Raila’s remarks were disrespectful to the community and demanded immediate retraction and apology.

Raila spoke in the presence of Ukambani governors Charity Ngilu (Kitui), Alfred Mutua (Machakos) and Kivutha Kibwana (Makueni) who had all joined in drumming up support for Okoth in the November 7 parliamentary by-election.

The lawmakers said Raila expressed ungratefulness for the support the community has accorded him in the 2013 and 2017 general elections.

MPs Makali Mulu (Kitui Central), David Mboni (Kitui Rural), Nimrod Mbai (Kitui East), Gideon Mulyungi (Mwingi Central), Thaddeus Nzambia (Kilome), Kivasu Nzioka (Mbooni), Jessica Mbalu (Kibwezi East), Paul Nzengu (Mwingi North), Charles Nguna (Mwingi West) and Kitui Senator Enoch Wambua asked Raila to apologise for the slur.

"The blanket profiling in the words that we find difficult to repeat must be seen for what it is. It shows Raila's disdain for our community. For 10 years, in two general elections and a repeat presidential election, the Kamba community stood firmly behind Raila as their presidential candidate," Mulu said.

"We are not short of options. If he does not aplogise, our options are open."

Over the weekend, Raila alluded that members of Kamba community are loyal and honest likening them to women who honour promises they make.

The statement has elicited mixed reactions with majority of Kamba leaders taking offense with the strong sexual connotations the remarks carry.

Unajua Wakamba ni waaminifu na wao ni kama akina mama wakisema watakupatia watakupatia (You know Kambas are very honest like women. If they say they will give you then, they will do exactly that),” Raila said.

Wambua said the remarks were reckless and are viewed as belittling to the community.  "As elected representatives, it is our responsibility to speak to the ODM leader and to carry our annoyance and let him know what the community feels,” Wambua said.

 

edited by peter obuya