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Cleophas Malala surrenders to police, pledges peace during Bukhungu event

Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala. [File, Standard]

Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala on Monday evening surrendered to police after he was summoned by the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) over alleged inflammatory remarks that he made on Sunday.

Malala, who had vowed to disrupt Francis Atwoli’s event at Bukhungu Stadium on Friday, now pledges to maintain peace, saying his Sunday remarks were purely political, and that he never meant to whip up emotions.

The senator took himself to Kakamega Central Police Station.

“He (Malala) clarified that what he said during the Maragoli Cultural Festival was a political statement, and that he does not intend to use violence or incite his followers into chaos during the rally,” Kakamega Central Sub-County Police Commander David Kabena told The Standard.

“Malala said he will maintain peace during the rally. He further said that on Friday, during the Bukhungu II event, he will be at Mumias; 32 kilometres away from the convention,” said Kabena.

Senator Malala had, on Sunday, vowed to scuttle plans for the Bukhungu meeting, saying his party leader-cum-preferred presidential candidate, Musalia Mudavadi, “had not been consulted”.

The legislator said Kakamega was his (Malala’s) “bedroom”, and that he had immense say on who holds political gatherings in the county.

Consequently, the NCIC summoned him over the utterances, which were deemed to be inflammatory.

“Kenya has no bedrooms and living rooms for any politician, and there is no space for locking out other politicians from any political side from any part of the country,” NCIC Chairperson Samuel Kobia said.

“These summons also mean that he (Malala) is now a prime candidate for inclusion in the wall of shame; as well as facing the full force of the law,” added the NCIC boss.

It is expected that Atwoli will, on Friday, rally the Luhya community behind Raila Odinga ahead of the 2022 presidential election.

Raila has confirmed he will attend the Friday meeting.

Atwoli has been on the record, vouching for a Raila presidency, saying “Kenya would be safe in his hands”.

Meanwhile, as of Tuesday, December 28, police were yet to issue a permit to Francis Atwoli, the convener of Bukhungu convention scheduled for Friday, December 31.

The Central Organization of Trade Unions (COTU) Secretary-General was yet to apply for the permit despite announcing in several media addresses that the event will be held at the Bukhungu Stadium.

Kakamega County Police Commander Hassan Barua told The Standard that Atwoli and team were, however, free to make the application a few days to the convention.

“We are capable of providing adequate security during the event,” said Barua.

“We’re alert, and will fish out politicians inciting members of the public, both on social media and offline,” he added.

On Monday, December 27, Atwoli and Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya inspected the Bukhungu Stadium ahead of the Friday convention.