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Ban 'Tanga Tanga' rallies, State told

By Wilfred Ayaga | April 16th 2019
MPs Godfrey Otsosi (Nominated), Samuel Atandi (Alego Usonga), Caleb Amisi (Saboti) and Lillian Gogo (Rangwe) during the press conference. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

Some Opposition MPs want the Tanga Tanga Movement, a group of MPs supporting Deputy President William Ruto’s 2022 presidential ambitions, banned from holding rallies.

The eight lawmakers claimed the MPs went round the country spreading hate speech, in violation of the political truce - handshake - between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Opposition chief Raila Odinga.

The MPs, who addressed the media at Parliament Buildings, cited the movement's attacks on Central Organisation of Trade Unions Secretary General Francis Atwoli. 

Speaking in Lamu last weekend, Mr Atwoli claimed Dr Ruto’s name would not be in the ballot in 2022, setting off a chain of reactions from Tanga Tanga MPs, who challenged him to explain his statement.

And yesterday Saboti MP Caleb Amisi said: “Mr Atwoli does not belong to any party and statement he made is very clear. The Building Bridges Initiative is meant to clean up the country’s politics before 2022."

Mr Amisi said Uhuru had clearly stated that it was time to fight corruption, but one side of his government was derailing him.

“Tanga Tanga is causing a lot of havoc in this country. It must be banned. It is creating an unnecessary climate of tension. We need to stop this outfit before it brings down this country,” Amisi said.

Rangwe MP Lillian Gogo said: “The microphone you use to insult those senior to you... will bring you down. In the next three years, it will be clear who will be voted out and those who want to take the country forward.”

Others MPs at the media briefing were Anthony Oluoch (Mathare), Samuel Atandi (Alego Usonga), Godfrey Osotsi (nominated), Elsie Muhanda (Kakamega) and Babu Owino (Embakasi East).

“Atwoli is an internationally recognised trade unionist. He also represents workers and it is within his rights to speak his mind on 2022,” said Mr Oluoch.

“Leave our mzee alone. He is a respected person, and when he speaks, the entire region has spoken,” Mr Osotsi added. This was the latest episode in the current political power plays, fired by infighting in the ruling Jubilee Party.

“I want to tell the DP, if Atwoli has said you will not be on the ballot, then you will not be there. This idea of moving from place to place playing politics will not work,” said Mr Owino.

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