MP Arati says he has no regrets over remarks that sparked violence at a Kisii funeral


South Mugirango MP Silvanus Osoro (in black) fights with Dagoretti North MP Simba Arati at a funeral in Kisii. [Sammy Omingo, Standard]

Dagoretti North MP Simba Arati says he does not regret his speech during the funeral of Kisii Deputy Governor Joash Maangi's father that sparked a fight between Deputy President William Ruto and ODM leader Raila Odinga's allies.

Arati who told the DP to change his style of politics told The Standard he had no apologies.

“It is in public domain that we need to have presidency held by another community. President Kenyatta had talked about it. There was no evil in me reminding his deputy that he should shelve his ambitions for the sake of unity and cohesion,” the MP said.

Arati engaged in a fist fight with South Mugirango MP Silvanus Osoro at the chagrin of leaders and other mourners.

Osoro was irked by Arati's remarks with the ODM lawmaker describing him as "mtu mdogo (small man) for jeering him as he asked DP Ruto to apologise over “killings during the 2007 post poll chaos.”

Arati further accused the DP of being surrounded by corrupt individuals and lying to Kenyans over the Building Bridges Initiative.

Speaking to The Standard on Tuesday, Arati said he has no enemity or hatred towards Osoro, and said he will continue to speak about wrongs happening in the country.

“Popularity is not about hiring goons to go heckle leaders in funerals and other public functions. Let us tolerate each other and avoid assaulting fellow leaders,” Arati said.

South Mugirango MP Silvanus Osoro (in black) fights with Dagoretti North MP Simba Arati at a funeral in Kisii. [Sammy Omingo, Standard]

On his part, Osoro said the chaos during the burial were regretful.

He said it was wrong for Arati to attack Ruto and other leaders. “I know they are planning to arrest me but that will allow us have a sober debate and reveal the intentions behind their attack on the Deputy President,” Osoro, a key Ruto pointman in Gusii region said.

Naftal Obwocha, a member of the Gusii Young Professionals said the behavior displayed by young leaders was uncouth, uncultured and reckless.

“Kenya as a country has made a lot of strides towards achieving constitutional and democratic freedom. This has been possible through the rigorous struggle of our second liberation warriors.”

On Monday, the Elite Police Squad was forced to take charge of the funeral service as MPs allied to Ruto and Raila clashed.

Ruto and Raila's bodyguards surrounded the two leaders as leaders engaged in fist fights. The scuffle continued for almost 20 minutes.

Osoro and Arati were forced to leave the funeral midway.

DP Ruto and ODM leader Raila Odinga later addressed the mourners and called for respect among leaders.

The violence has been condemned as the country heads towards athe BBI referendum and next year's vote.