MP Jaguar arrested over threat to foreign traders

Starehe Member of Parliament Charles ‘Jaguar’ Kanyi.
Starehe Member of Parliament Charles ‘Jaguar’ Kanyi was arrested yesterday over claims of inciting his voters against foreigners.

This is even as Kenya officially wrote to Tanzania to disown xenophobic remarks attributed to Jaguar.

Kenya’s High Commissioner to Dar es Salam Dan Kazungu yesterday confirmed that his mission had been contacted on Tuesday after the issue was discussed in Tanzania parliament.

“We got contacts from senior officials of the Tanzania government seeking a clarification and Kenya’s position on the unfortunate remarks made by MP Jaguar which border on xenophobia and we have since responded,” Mr Kazungu said.

The police picked the MP outside Parliament Buildings and drove off with him to Nairobi Area DCI offices at about 12.30pm. He was held there for grilling ahead of possible arraignment today.

A team of police officers had been looking for him after a video circulated on social media in which he appeared to threaten foreign investors in Nairobi.

After he walked out of Parliament, a team of officers surrounded him and forced him into a waiting car.

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In the letter to Dar es Salaam, Nairobi clarified that Kenya deeply regrets the careless and inciting language against foreigners living and working in Kenya in public utterances made Jaguar.

Jaguar was captured in a video that has since gone viral telling foreigners engaged in business in his constituency to shut down and vacate the country, failure to which they will be forcefully removed.

Government Spokesman Cyrus Oguna denounced the MP's remarks adding “mitigating measures have since been instituted against them”.

“We wish to state that this is not the position of the Government of the Republic of Kenya, and we denounce the comments carried in the video in the strongest terms possible,” Oguna said.

Jaguar had issued Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i with a 24-hour ultimatum to deport all Chinese nationals and other foreigners carrying out businesses in Gikomba.

Jaguar also talked about people from Tanzania, Uganda and China, accusing them of dominating Nairobi markets.

Nairobi's Starehe Constituency, which Jaguar represents in the National Assembly, includes the expansive Gikomba market popular in Kenya for second-hand clothes and construction materials.

His utterances come hot on the heels of deportation of Chinese nationals who were found selling second-hand clothes in Gikomba market.

“We are not talking about six Chinese nationals. We are talking of hundreds of foreigners who work here (Kenya),” he said.

Reports indicated Tanzania’s Speaker of Parliament Job Ndugai ordered his government to issue a statement on the safety of Tanzanians in Kenya.

This was after Rufiji MP Mohammed Mchengerwa sought his guidance on the need for the Tanzania government to protect its nationals who run businesses in Kenya.

Tanzania’s Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa said his government took the remarks seriously and had summoned Kenya’s envoy to explain.

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Starehe Member of Parliament Charles ‘Jaguar’ KanyiIncitementForeign traders