Meru Senator Mithika Linturi has been arrested over the ‘madoadoa’ remarks he made in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County, on Saturday.
The ‘madoadoa’ remarks uttered at Eldoret Sports Club during Deputy President William Ruto rally in the region were described by some as inflammatory.
The slur is linked to the 2007/08 post-election violence that left more than 1,100 people dead and 600,000 others displaced.
Linturi was arrested by detectives attached to the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) who have been camping at EKA Hotel, Rupa’s Mall, Eldoret since 2 am.
The arrest comes hours after the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji directed the Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai to investigate the matter.
The DPP stated that the utterances could incite contempt, hatred, hostility, violence or discrimination.
“Pursuant to Article 157 (4) of the Constitution, I hereby direct that you immediately institute comprehensive investigations into the said allegation and submit the resultant investigations file on or before 14th January, 2022,” Haji said.
NCIC also summoned Linturi to appear before the Commission on Wednesday over the remarks.
“The Commission is investigating utterances you made within Uasin Gishu County to wit. ‘Niwaambie nyinyi msituchezee, watu wa Uasin Gishu msicheze na Kenya. Na kile nawaomba ni kwamba madoadoa yale mlio nayo hapa muweze kuondoa, muweze kufanya nini? Hatuwezi kuwa tunasimama na William tukiwa Kule Mount Kenya na Meru alafu mko na wengine hapa hawasikii na hawaungani na yeye. Mko tayari kutuondolea hao? Mko tayari?’ Which words were calculated to be hateful and likely to affect harmonious coexistence between the Kalenjins and other communities contrary Section 13(1) (a) of the National Cohesion and Integration Act,” NCIC said in a letter to the legislator.
“Take notice that you are hereby required to appear before the National and Integration Commission at the offices at Britam Towers 18th Floor Upper Hill on 12th January 2022 at 10.00am so as to assist the Commission with aforementioned ongoing further investigation.”
Yesterday, the lawmaker issued a public apology saying he uttered the words innocently without any sinister motive.
He claimed his speech was taken out of context adding that he was referring to politicians in the area who continue to oppose Ruto’s United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party.
“It is true that words like ‘madoadoa’, whilst otherwise innocent and legitimate expressions, have in certain contexts come to be understood as representing inflammatory intent. This context did not occur to me while I was speaking,” Linturi said in a statement.
“I must point out that my use of these words was in specific reference to our Parliamentary colleagues from Uasin Gishu County, who do not support UDA, and whom I urged voters to reject in favour of UDA candidates, given that we are in a political contest, and they are our rivals.”
Pledging peace, the Senator went on to ask for forgiveness from members of the public over the discomfort caused.
“On further reflection, and upon the advise of my colleagues, I regretfully concede that my choice of words was unfortunate. I therefore apologise, unreservedly, for the discomfort they may have created,” he said.
He added: “I also take this opportunity to assure all Kenyans of my commitment, both as a citizen and as a leader, to national unity, peace, and cohesion within and among all communities.”