Meru Senator Mithika Linturi arrested over utterances at DP Ruto rally

Meru Senator Mithika Linturi in a police car after being arrested over remarks he made at the UDA rally in Eldoret yesterday. [Courtesy]

Meru Senator Mithika Linturi has been arrested over alleged utterances he made at a DP William Ruto rally on Saturday.

Linturi was arrested by detectives at Eka Hotel, Eldoret, over alleged utterances he made at the rally.

At the time of publishing this article, the lawmaker was being escorted to Nakuru where he will be interrogated, Rift Valley regional commissioner George Natembeya said.

Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Haji a day ago directed Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai to investigate the remarks made by the senator.

Haji, in a statement, said the utterances by the Meru Senator are akin to hate speech and incitement.

“My attention has been drawn to a video clip circulating on social platforms portraying Mithika Linturi allegedly addressing a crowd. The utterances could incite feelings of contempt, hatred, hostility, violence, or discrimination,” Haji said.

During his arrest at EKA hotel, Linturi told the media that he had been asked to go to Nakuru Police headquarters adding, he was ready to comply with the law.

A screengrab of Meru Senator Mithika Linturi addressing the Eldoret rally. [Standard]

“I will follow their instructions. I am neither a warlord nor a warmonger and I have no record. I only said that those not supporting UDA should be rejected by Uasin Gishu voters and I was misquoted,”

His utterances evoked memories of past episodes of pre and post-election ethnic violence where certain communities were attacked for not supporting a candidate from the larger host community.

Mithika Lnturi is escorted to Nakuru for further interrogation over hateful remarks. [Courtesy]

But, Linturi would later clarify his statement to The Standard via a phone call interview.

“I am just saying if we are supporting him [Ruto] from Meru and the Mt Kenya region, then the likes of MPs Kutuny, Kamar, and Mishra should not be re-elected,” Linturi told an editor at The Standard.

Hours later, Meru Senator Mithika Linturi left Kaptembwo Police Station, Nakuru where he was briefly questioned by Nakuru County Criminal Investigations Officer Anthony Sunguti.

Mr Sunguti has told The Standard that Linturi was en route to Nairobi DCI headquarters. 

A section of politicians has since condemned Linturi’s utterances terming them regrettable.

“Utterances attributed to Senator Mithika Linturi in Eldoret are a serious assault to the peace and harmony to communities in Rift Valley. To profile persons on the basis of political or ethnic orientation is regrettable,” Nakuru Governor Lee Kinyanjui tweeted.