National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale is under siege following comments captured on unauthenticated audio clip in which he is allegedly telling youth not to allow the Kamba register as voters in Garissa Town constituency.
The Majority Leader yesterday recorded a statement at the CID headquarters in Nairobi over the clip which has been widely shared on social media.
Mr Duale was grilled for two hours by detectives as leaders from Ukambani, which borders his constituency, protested.
National Cohesion and Integration Commission chair Francis ole Kaparo has also weighed in, promising to investigate authenticity of the audio clip, which Duale has denounced.
“We have heard there is a video clip and we are investigating it with the aim of getting to the bottom of the matter. Anybody found to have authored the clip, we will let the law follow its course once we have established the truth,” Mr Kaparo told The Standard on Saturday.
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Speaking at Parliament Buildings yesterday, six lawmakers led by Minority Leader Francis Nyenze (Kitui West) expressed concern that the remarks captured in the video have the potential to cause bloodshed ahead of the General Election. They claimed the video could be aimed at scaring communities not considered friendly to the Jubilee Party in the region.
“Duale’s remarks are symptomatic of a failed politician who has sensed defeat and has now resorted to ethnic cleansing as a desperate strategy for political survival...The statement is not only alarming but is a serious precursor to violence as we head towards the General Election. The begging question is: Is the Jubilee government party to this scheme?” Nyenze posed.
“Kenyans also remember that Duale is yet to name the masterminds of terror as he once promised yet many Kenyans lost their loved ones, were left wounded and lost property worth billions through the Al-shaabab terror attacks. This burdens still lies on him,” he added.
Others at the press conference were Bernard Munywoki (Mwingi West), Makali Mulu (Kitui Central), Charles Nyamai (Kitui Rural) and Robert Mbui (Kathiani).
But Duale said the audio clip was a creation of his opponents out to gain mileage through cheap politics.
“You compete with me on a platform of development and national unity and not a platform of where you record fake clips which are not audible...I invited myself to the CID headquarters to file a complaint after I heard of a clip going round purporting to contain words uttered by me,” he said.
It is not the first time that the Majority Leader is on the spot. A botched attempt last year to switch constituencies form Garissa Town to Balambala put him at logger heads with Balambala MP Abdikadir Aden.
Duale’s unfulfilled promise to table a list of Jubilee sympathisers has also provided political fodder to his political opponents.
To underscore the kind of heat that the audio has generated, former National Assembly Deputy Speaker, Farah Maalim, Duale’s key opponent for Garissa Town parliamentary seat recorded a statement at the CID, claiming he was among those that have been threatened in the video.
“The Government should act swiftly and bring Duale to book. The law should not apply selectively as nobody is above the law,” Mr Maalim said. “Information I have now is that two Kenyans from Kamba community have been attacked in Garrisa and the likelihood of more attacks spiraling out of control are very rife,” he claimed.
“We want to see whether the government’s pronouncements on trying to maintain peace in the country to the run up to the next elections are only designed as a selective application of the law where some people can flaunt the law the way they want and others can be made to live by the law,” added Maalim.
But Duale termed the audio clip the work of propagandists. “An audio clip in circulation online is fake and crude propaganda. It’s the work of a bygone era politician attempting to cook fake news,” he said. The Majority Leader and Maalim do not see eye-to-eye politically.