Igathe apologises over remarks that irked Somali community

Nairobi Governor candidate Polycarp Igathe. [File, Standard]

Jubilee party’s candidate for Nairobi Governor, Polycarp Igathe has apologised over remarks he made at a public gathering that irked the Somali community.

Igathe made the remarks last Friday when he met members of the Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA). In his speech, he attributed the failure of the ward representatives in the city to control by a cartel.

“…45 Kikuyu MCAs in Nairobi are controlled by three Somalis,” he remarked.

In a press statement today, the governorship hopeful defended his remarks saying they were ‘only about seeking a more equitable platform for all Nairobians to enjoy services and economic opportunities.'

“I would like to say that if the broader Somali community or anyone was hurt or inadvertently offended by comments made in the context of engagements on the campaign trail, I am sorry for any such offence or hurt,” Igathe issued his apology to the public.

“Once again my conduct and words in the past, today and going forward are and will be self-evident of my deep respect for all Somalis in Nairobi and beyond,”

In addition, the former banker has said that his comments were signalling and echoing sentiments his campaign has heard in public participation conducted in various parts of the capital.

His sentiments were not received well by some of the leaders of the community, with some demanding an apology and retraction.

Garissa Township MP Aden Duale was among those who hit out at Igathe over the alleged profiling of the Somali community for political expediency.

“The tribal bigotry shamelessly peddled in the sophisticated business arena is unfortunate and crass. It is more appalling coming from someone purporting to be learned and captain of industry. Profiling communities for cheap political expediency is the height of desperation. Nairobians are discerning and will totally reject such a poor project,” Duale said.

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