Star (Kenya)

Probe Raila over ‘hate’ remarks, Jubilee asks NCIC

Jun. 16, 2017, 3:00 pm
Opposition leader Raila Odinga receives Kajiado politician Tarayia ole Kores to ODM Party in Maili 46, Kajiado West on Thursday, June 15, 2017. /FILE
Jubilee Party has written to NCIC chair Francis Kaparo asking him to investigate opposition leader Raila Odinga over hate speech.

This followed comments by the NASA presidential flag bearer during his tour of Kajiado County on Thursday.

Raila asked the residents to protect their lands and not sell them to ‘outsiders’.

“…until now there is no land because of poverty…we want to change that so that people don’t sell their parcels.”

“Keep your land with you so that you don’t cry foul later on…let the buyers remain at their places of origin,” Raila said.

Jubilee views the comments as amounting to hate speech and want the opposition chief probed over the utterances.

In a letter seen by the Star on Friday, Secretary General Raphael Tuju said the comments are likely to spark violence.

“We all know that it only requires a very small match to start a very large and dangerous fire. With these comments, Raila has struck that match.”

“…the use of irresponsible and inflammatory language will ignite tensions within local communities and can only be regarded as hate speech,” Tuju said.

He asked the commission to review the utterances and establish whether NASA contravened the law with respect to hate speech.

“Raila’s language must be challenged today in the most robust terms. Kenya must move forward as a united nation and not be allowed to fall back into the hands of the abyss of violence.”

He said anyone, regardless of their position in the country, should not be allowed to incite such tensions and violence ahead of the August elections.

“They must face the full force of the law and this must be demonstrated publicly so that Kenyans and the whole world can see that such behavior will not be condoned,” he said.

Tuju demanded that the NCIC and other investigating agencies rein in Raila to put a stop to “the dangerous comments.”

The letter was copied to the Law Society of Kenya, IEBC, heads of diplomatic missions, Kenya National Commission on Human Rights and religious organisations.

“It is the responsibility of all good people of Kenya never to be silent when we recognise that some among us seek to take us down a dangerous path that could destroy this country,” he said.

This came after President Uhuru Kenyatta told off Raila for inciting Kenyans to violence.

He said Raila is treading the same path that led to the 2007/2008 post election violence.

“Yesterday he was talking about ‘wenye inchi‘ and ‘wenye wanafaa kurudi kwao‘ (those who belong and those who should return to where they came from) … and that is the same language he used to create conflict last time,” the President said in Bomet.

Nominated MP and JP Nairobi senator aspirant Johnson Sakaja said Raila has “crossed the red line and should be tamed now.”

“We all have the experience. People have lost their loved ones. People have been maimed. People have been injured. Scars still exist.”

“Even within the context of a power struggle that we are in right now, there is a line that we cannot allow any politician to pass,” Sakaja said.