AVOID 2007-08 SITUATION

Scale up surveillance on hate speech, Kisii politicians urge state

Say more should be done to ensure the country does not descend into chaos due to 'loose mouths'

In Summary

• Political leaders from Kisii  especially described as ‘unfortunate and regrettable’ the controversial utterances made Friday in Eldoret by Meru Senator Mithinka Linturi.

• Kitutu Chache South MP Richard Onyonka said unless tamed, people like Linturi would be sprouting everywhere during the campaigns to sow seeds of discord. 

 

Meru Senator Mithika Linturi at DCI Headquarters, Nairobi, following his arrest on Sunday, January 9, 2022.
Meru Senator Mithika Linturi at DCI Headquarters, Nairobi, following his arrest on Sunday, January 9, 2022.
Image: CHARLENE MALWA

Politicians in Kisii want the government to increase surveillance on hate speech, which they say has the potential to spark violence ahead of the August polls. 

They termed as ‘unfortunate and regrettable’ the utterances made Friday in Eldoret by Meru Senator Mithika Linturi.

Linturi had joined Deputy President William Ruto at a rally.

The Meru senator was arrested in Eldoret on Sunday and transferred to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations headquarters after the "madoadoa" remark.

A video widely circulating show Linturi saying,“Watu wa Uasin Gishu msicheze na Kenya, kile nawaombeni ni kwamba madoadoa yale mulionayo hapa muweze kuondoa."  This loosely translates to, "People of Uasin Gishu don't play with Kenya and I am asking you to remove the spots you have here."

On Sunday, Kisii leaders said more should be done to ensure the country does not descend into chaos due to "loose mouths".

 “As a people with a huge presence in the Rift Valley, those utterances were reckless and a possible pointer to the growing political level of bankruptcy in the UDA camp,” Dagoretti MP Simba Arati said. 

Arati is seeking to succeed Kisii Governor James Ongwae in the August polls. 

He spoke in Nyankororo and Nyanguru in Nyaribari Chache.

Kitutu Chache South MP Richard Onyonka said unless tamed, people like Linturi would be sprouting everywhere during the campaigns to sow seeds of discord. 

“We want the government to do anything at its disposal to ensure the country does not descend into chaos as it occurred after the 2007 general election. All the apparatus should be trained on such elements so we don’t keep senselessly losing lives after every other poll year,” he said.

Onyonka is seeking the Kisii senator's seat on the ODM ticket.

Linturi was censured by Governor James Ongwae and Senator Sam Ongeri during the burial of Deputy Governor Joash Maangi’s mother.

Ongwae termed the remarks by Linturi as ‘stomach churning’ and coming at a time when the country is yet to fully recover from the aftermath of the 2007-08 post-election violence.

“Such statements send shivers down our spines. We believe it is a manifestation of something bigger that should be probed and action taken as early as now,” he said.

The governor said for someone to be that careless with his mouth in a place where so many communities live was a political miscalculation that should be punished.

“We must have a country to live in before and after the August general election,” Ongwae said.

Edited by A.N