I owe no one apology over hate remarks at stadium, says Kiambu Governor William Kabogo

Kiambu Governor William Kabogo address press outside the CID headquarters in Kiambu shortly after grilling by security officers over hate speech on 02/11/2015 [PHOTO/DAVID NJAAGA/STANDARD]

Kiambu Governor William Kabogo has said he owes no person or community an apology over alleged hate remarks he recently made at Thika Stadium.

Addressing journalists while on an inspection tour of a Sh850 million reproductive health unit at Thika Level 5 Hospital, which is under construction, Mr Kabogo said he was not a hate monger, adding that his remarks were taken out of context.

He said the alleged remarks were now a thing of the past as far as he was concerned and that he was a strong proponent of "one people, one nation".

"For those saying I should apologise, I want to know to whom should I apologise and for what. I spoke in Gikuyu at the stadium and if the gathering I was addressing tells me to apologise I will do so, but they have not done so. You know what I said," said the county chief.

The governor who on Monday recorded a statement with the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) said the point he wanted to drive home was for those leaders hurling insults at the President to stop doing so and respect the institution of the presidency.

"I will continue to advocate for the presidency to be accorded the respect it deserves from all leaders," he said.

Kabogo is alleged to have uttered the words at Thika Stadium during celebrations to mark musician John De Mathew's 30-year music career.

It is alleged that he made sarcastic ethnic remarks targeting Coalition for Reforms and Democracy leaders Raila Odinga and Johnstone Muthama.

There has been an uproar from Kenyans and some leaders over the increase in hate remarks bordering on ethnic hatred by leaders.

National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) Chairman Francis ole Kaparo on Monday said most politicians had taken advantage of protracted legal proceedings and poor record of convictions to make more hateful utterances.

Last week, Chief Justice Willy Mutunga warned the country was courting danger, especially with politicians fanning ethnic hatred.

Police have exonerated themselves from laxity in the war against hate mongers and instead blamed rising cases of hate speechon the Judiciary's failure to mete out stiff penalties on those brought before the courts.

Kiambu Senator Kimani Wamatangi has called on the Judiciary and NCIC to deal firmly with leaders spreading hate speech.

"Does it mean the bodies put in place to deal with hate mongers do not exist, because we have not seen them cracking a whip on those leaders," said Wamatangi in Kikuyu town yesterday.

He noted it was high time the two agencies upped their game, considering the country was healing after the 2007/2008 post-poll chaos which led to the country being divided along tribal lines.