The heat is being turned on the Leader of Majority in the National Assembly, Mr Aden Duale, in the wake of a sound clip circulating on social media where a voice is calling for the barring of a neighbouring Bantu community from registering as voters in Garissa.
Reacting to the clip on Friday, six Ukambani leaders led by Kitui Senator David Musila called for arrest of Mr Duale, accusing him inciting one community against another and hate-mongering for political reasons.
In the recording, a voice is heard calling for the stationing of youths at polling stations to bar members of the community in Garissa from getting voters’ cards.
A similar call was made by former Lagdera MP Farah Maalim Mohamed who will be contesting for the Garissa Township parliamentary seat currently held by Mr Duale.
“You should have five youths at every polling station and if you are arrested because of violence, you will be released. I will pay your bills and all costs,” says the man alleged to be Mr Duale in the clip.
On Thursday Mr Duale dismissed the video clip as a fake and the work of his political detractors. He said the clip is neither audible nor verifiable.
At Parliament Buildings on Friday, Mr Musila who read a statement on behalf of the six MPs present, urged the Kamba community to stay calm. He said they would not forced out of the region since it was within their rights to settle where they wished.
“We are asking our people to stay calm as we wait for government’s response on the matter failure to which we will call for a meeting and decide the way forward. We will continue defending our people wherever they are,” said Mr Musila.
The leaders said the community had already suffered from attacks by herders from across the Tana River, which separates Kitui and Garissa counties, and the utterances could fuel more attacks. They said 20 people had been killed in the past one year.
Mr Duale is facing stiff opposition in his bid to recapture the Garissa Township seat from former Deputy Speaker in Parliament.
On Friday, Mr Maalim called on the state to have Duale answer to charges of hate speech and incitement to violence in court.
Speaking after recording a statement at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations headquarters, Mr Maalim urged President Uhuru Kenyatta to walk the talk on his tough stance on hate speech.
“We have evidence to prove that indeed it is the majority leader’s voice captured in an audio recording calling for a certain community not to be allowed to register in Garissa Township Constituency.
“We want to see whether this government’s pronouncements and actions on hate speech and incitement are only designed as a selective application of the law where some people can flout the law the way they want while others are made to live by the law,” he said.
Kitui MPs Bernad Kitungi (Mwingi West), Charles Nyamai (Kitui Rural) and John Munuve (Mwingi North) yesterday also told off Mr Duale.
Mr Kitungi called on the Inspector of Police Joseph Boinet to ensure Mr Duale is arrested.“ Mr Duale has been on record making reckless sentiments against our community. Mr Nyamai who demanded an apology from Mr Duale or take full responsibility for anything that would happen to its members living in Garissa.
Mr Munuve said it was unfortunate if such utterances truly emanated from a national figure like Mr Duale. “I cannot say he (Hon Duale) made the utterances because I don’t expect such words to come from a national leader like him,” Mr Munuve told the Nation on phone.
He noted that more than 800 people from his constituency were working in Garissa and cautioned leaders against making remarks made to fuel violence to make political capital. Kitui county Assembly minority Leader Alex Nganga, Kitui National Youth Council Chair Aggrey Nzomo and Mwingi Business and Professionals outfit boss Mr Campbell Munyambu also criticised Mr Duale.