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MP paid youths to disrupt meeting, Ojode tells Parliament

By | June 18th 2010 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

Internal Security Assistant Minister Joshua Ojode caused a stir in the House when he disclosed they had information Githunguri MP Njoroge Baiya had met a group of youth prior to a farmers’ meeting, which later turned violent.

Mr Ojode further said the information in his possession was that 150 youths were paid Sh500 each, and instructed to cause mayhem at the meeting on May 29.

"Mr Speaker, I have instructed the police to investigate this matter and indeed if it is true this is what happened then the law would take its course," Ojode said.

Excessive force

Ojode was responding to questions after he delivered a Ministerial Statement that Baiya had requested seeking to know why police interfered with the meeting of the Githunguri Dairy Farmers Co-operative Society.

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Baiya had also sought to know why police used excessive force on the farmers.

However, a visibly emotional Ojode said the meeting had taken place amid heightened tension since the district intelligence had informed the police there would be chaos.

The minister said the area MP is alleged to have distributed leaflets authored in Kikuyu, a copy of which he tabled in the House.

"Mr Speaker if you read some sections of this leaflet, which has been translated to me, some of its content amounts to incitement," he added.

Ojode said the intelligence team advised for the cancellation of the meeting, but after consultation it was allowed to proceed under tight security.

He said when the meeting was under way, at 9.45am a group, which had not been screened forcefully entered the stadium, and began pulling down tents.

He further noted that Baiya later walked in and members became agitated by his arrival.

While on a supplementary question time Baiya produced some photographs, which he claimed a journalist had taken at the meeting showing riot police lobbing teargas canisters and demanded to know whether that was not excessive force.

Ojode said the problems with the co-operative society were between Baiya, who is a former chairman, and the incumbent Charles Mukora.

Legally convened

The minister said the crux of the matter was Baiya had his group, which wanted to be allowed to buy a second-hand milk processing plant, while the Mukora group wanted a new one at a cost of Sh150 million.

"Mr Speaker let me assure Kenyans and all co-operative societies they will hold their meetings if they are legally convened without any interference from whatever quarter because we shall provide security," he said.

— Stories by Martin Mutua and David Ochami


Joshua Ojode parliament Githunguri MP Njoroge Baiya Githunguri Dairy Farmers Co-operative Society
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