Top Stories / 2017 Elections
Monday, 09 Jan 2017 14:38 EAT
Critics of the majority leader in the National Assembly Aden Duale has been widely censured by Kenyans and Ukambani leaders for his remarks warning the Kamba community against supporting his opponents in the Garissa Township parliamentary elections later this year. In an audio clip that has gone viral on social media, the Jubilee honcho, speaking in Swahili, is heard urging the audience not to allow members of the Kamba community to register as voters in the area. He goes ahead to indicate a stable security mechanism that would be laid down to protect the perpetrators of his plan.
Mr Duale has vehemently denied the accusations, and as calls for his prosecution have continued, the silence of the Jubilee Party to which he belongs has been noticed by social media activists. In a television programme this morning, his parliamentary colleague Alice Wahome said the police should investigate the authenticity of the recording, the same direction the police seem to be taking in their investigations.
Mr Duale recorded a statement with Directorate of Criminal Investigation and the Francis Ole Kaparo led National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) says it is investigating the case before it determines the appropriate action to be taken. But a perception has been created that the law is being applied selectively. If such utterances were made by opposition leaders, it is very likely that they would have been charged by now. A number have been charged with hate speech crimes, only for the charges to fall short of evidentiary standards.
Kenyans have also read a pattern in Mr Duale's incendiary speeches against members of the Kamba community. In April 2014, he was also captured on TV asking those throwing grenades in Eastleigh to go do so in Machakos so that Eastleigh residents are not harassed in police swoops. Machakos is among the three counties inhabited by the Kamba community. Others are Kitui and Makueni.
The video showed Duale asking those behind the terror attacks in Eastleigh to stop doing so as they were hurting the interests of local traders. Speaking in vernacular, Mr Duale said: ‘We Somalis of Kenya…invested our money in Eastleigh. This is where our economy is based....Eastleigh is our umbilical cord. You must arrest anyone who is spoiling Eastleigh — even if he is Adan Duale’s brother. Those who are detonating explosives in Eastleigh should do it elsewhere. Had the one who is detonating explosives here done that in Machakos, do you think the people of Eastleigh would have been harassed?"
The threat on the Kamba community amid Jubilee's silence rekindles campaign techniques that have been employed by vulnerable presidents to balance the voter equation in their favour. An MP being quoted telling a baraza full of youth to use violence if necessary to prevent the Kamba people, outsiders, from voting in the region is not something to take lightly.
This especially in light of the fact that the Kamba people are a key swing vote between Duale and former Deputy Speraker Farah Maalim who is looking to unseat him on a Wiper Party ticket. Away from Garissa Town Constituency, the Kambas live across Northern Kenya, the Coast region, Nairobi and parts of Rift Valley, including Nakuru, Narok and Kajiado. If Mr Duale's hate speech is not checked, then members of the Kamba community could face similar wrath in different parts of the country.
The emergence of CORD in 2013 catalysed the Kamba community's steadfast role in the opposition, which has seen leaders like Kalonzo Musyoka and Johnstone Muthama play opposition politics against the expectation of many.