Kenya: Raila joins leaders in condemning Linturi’s “Madoadoa” comments

Nairobi – Political leaders agreed on Sunday to condemn Meru Senator Mithika Linturi’s remarks, which authorities said verged on hate speech, when he urged locals to remove people who did not support Vice President William Ruto’s offer while he uses the term “madoa” which means spots.

Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party leader Raila Odinga has condemned political intolerance in the country and declared that leaders should avoid ethnic profiling and preach peace.

Odinga urged Kenyans to keep the peace before, during and after the August elections to avoid what happened in 2007-2008 when hundreds were killed and thousands displaced amid the worst post-election violence in the country.

“We have internally displaced people in different parts of this country due to political violence. We don’t want to go back there. Let’s keep the peace and call on everyone, regardless of which political party they belong to or who they support, to preach peace.” said Odinga.

Wiper Party leader Kalonzo Musyoka said: “People must stop beating the war drums again and allow this country to move forward.”

Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja urged leaders to use their words wisely at political rallies, remembering that they have only one Kenya to be protected at all costs

“We know what time we are as a country, but we would like to say again and urge our colleagues that they must remember that this country is the only country we have. There is no Kenya B and therefore, they shouldn’t be excited when addressing problems. ” We have to keep Kenya as a unit, “said Sakaja.

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Former Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth said the leaders were responsible for preaching peace, not division, in the country.

In a statement, Kenneth said that Linturi’s remarks at a time when Kenyans were preparing for the August elections could only be understood as discouraging voters from their free choice.

“The history of such threats is clear to many Kenyans, who recall the political violence that rocked the country in the run-up to the 1992 and 1997 elections that was intended to deter voters from influencing the outcome of the elections,” he said

He went on to point out that it is not enough to say that executives must refrain from making such statements, but that they must also be held accountable.

“The history and political power of the word ‘madoa’ is well known. It underlies the targeted approach to people from certain communities in the Rift Valley, specifically for the kind of political agenda that Senator Linturi was promoting. In fact, such statements are the ones led to the unfortunate massacre of people at Kiambaa Church on January 1, 2008, not far from where Senator Linturi spoke. Claiming ignorance about such important matters must not be allowed as a haven, “said Kenneth.

Nyeri leaders Kanini Kega (MP from Kieni), Senator Ephrahim Maina and Wambugu Ngunjiri (MP from Nyeri Town) also said Linturi’s statements are inconsiderate and call for tough action against him.

Linturi, who was arrested Saturday night, has since made it clear that he meant that leaders who do not support Ruto should not be elected.

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