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Raila defiant as CS Nkaissery warns he could be arrested over remarks

By Wilfred Ayaga and Protus Onyango | Published Mon, June 19th 2017 at 00:00, Updated June 19th 2017 at 08:50 GMT +3
Opposition leader Raila Odinga

The Government will take action against Opposition leader Raila Odinga if investigations establish that he incited the Maasai community against "outsiders" at a rally in Kajiado last week, Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery has warned.

Mr Nkaissery said the Government was waiting for the investigation file from NCIC to decide whether to take action against Raila.

"If Kaparo (NCIC Chair) gives instructions, the Director of Criminal Investigations will swing into action, the Director of Public Prosecutions will also be there to prosecute. No one is above the law. The National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) should come on board and take action against the NASA leadership," Mr Nkaissery said.

He added: "You can buy land anywhere so long as it is on a willing seller-willing buyer basis. Kaparo has a duty to Kenyans because what was said amounts to incitement. No one is above the law. As long as I remain the CS for Interior, we will protect and defend the country from anybody... It is wrong for somebody who wants to be President to make such remarks. Some people in the area have inter-married. How do you refuse our in-laws to live with us?"

But the NASA leader was defiant, daring the Government to arrest him. During a press conference at Okoa Kenya House, Raila explained that his comments were directed at the Government, which he said had failed to enact laws to protect communal land and took issue with Jubilee leaders "for taking his comments out of context for political mileage".

"Jubilee should not even dare to arrest me because they are putting the issue out of context. I never said in Kajiado that the residents should not sell land to some people. What I said is that the Government should enact laws to protect community land. On the issue of Kajiado and Narok, it is only the Truth Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) report that can solve the matter.

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"Remember at the burial of Ole Ntimama, Duale said the TJRC report would be tabled in Parliament but Parliament's term ended on Thursday without it tabling the report. This is neither a NASA issue nor a Raila issue. It is an issue of national importance," Raila said.

On Sunday, President Uhuru Kenyatta while addressing a rally in Kiambu County said that the "noise" coming from the Opposition was meant to precipitate a crisis to prepare the ground for the rejection of presidential election results and force a coalition government.

His deputy William Ruto warned politicians against inciting Kenyans. "No politician should engage in politics of eviction in the 21st Century. There is no room for that," he said.

Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet could not be reached for comment on the status of investigations into the alleged Raila incitement. However, NCIC Chairman Francis Ole Kaparo said investigations were ongoing.

"We are on the matter and we are waiting for a report. But let me warn politicians that they should be very careful on what they say. We do not want statements that can lead to ethnic cleansing. Politicians are in positions of leadership and they must show leadership," said Mr Kaparo.

Meanwhile, security officials in Kajiado are investigating hate leaflets circulated in Ngong town on Saturday night. "We are investigating the source of those leaflets. We will arrest those responsible. We are warning anyone attempting to divide Kenyans that we will arrest them regardless of their positions in society," said County Commissioner Harsama Kello.

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