IG orders arrest of Ndindi Nyoro, Alice Wahome over deadly Murang'a violence

Kandara MP Alice Wahome addresses a crowd at Kenol town in Murang'a town after attending a fundraiser at AIPCA Kenol With Deputy President William Ruto (left) on October 4, 2020. 

Photo credit: Joseph Kanyi | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • The National Police Service (NPS) said two people were killed in chaos that erupted at Kenol town as youths allied to Jubilee Party’s Tangatanga and Kieleweke factions clashed.
  • Via Twitter, the NPS said Mr Nyoro and Ms Wahome should be "tracked and arrested immediately for mobilising goons who caused mayhem at Kenol".
  • Citing the 2007/8 post-election violence, that left at least 1,300 people dead, the NCIC said it should be clear to Kenyans that violence is not a solution to any challenge.

Inspector-General of Police Hillary Mutyambai has ordered the arrest of MPs Ndindi Nyoro (Kiharu) and Alice Wahome (Kandara) over the deadly violence in Murang'a County on Sunday.

The National Police Service (NPS) said two people were killed in chaos that erupted at Kenol town as youths allied to Jubilee Party’s Tangatanga and Kieleweke factions clashed.

Via Twitter, the NPS said Mr Nyoro and Ms Wahome should be "tracked and arrested immediately for mobilising goons who caused mayhem at Kenol".

It added, "Equally, the vehicles which were hired to ferry goons be tracked and detained to assist in investigation [sic]".

In a statement earlier, IG Mutyambai said he had asked the Internal Affairs Unit director and two senior officers of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to carry out a probe.

"We urge politicians to desist from engaging in inciteful utterances and acts. Stern action will be taken against any person planning and executing unlawful acts," he said in a warning.

Residents of Kenol, Murang'a County, react during a deadly clash of youths allied to Jubilee Party’s Tangatanga and Kieleweke factions on October 4, 2020.

Photo credit: Joseph Kanyi | Nation Media Group

Embarrassment

This is the second chaotic public function where violence has erupted in Murang’a, amid an intensifying political rivalry between supporters of President Uhuru Kenyatta and DP Ruto in the Mt Kenya region.

Last week, police were forced to intervene after the two factions fought during a burial.

In Sunday's incident, Murang'a South Deputy County Commissioner Mawira Mungania said, a man died in a case of mob justice at about 7.30am near Kenol AIPCA Church, where DP Ruto was to attend a service and later a fundraiser.

The second victim died later, according to Murang’a South police boss Anthony Keter.

“Two people died, including a youth who was lynched by residents, while more than 10 others escaped with injuries,” said Mr Keter.

Dr Ruto and the leaders who accompanied him to the church condemned the attack, claiming it was sanctioned by the Kieleweke team.

“I ask you for your forgiveness, the people of Murang’a and Kenol, for the embarrassment we saw here in the morning. That officers who get paid by taxpayers’ money can come to this place and teargas the church is something that shouldn’t have happened and will not happen again,” the DP said.

Dr Ruto, who eventually led over 40 elected leaders to a fundraiser, said the journey to State House come 2022 has started and “those against us better get their act right because we are unstoppable".

Murang’a Woman Representative Sabina Chege, whom the Tangatanga team accused of being behind the chaos, condemned and distanced herself from it.

“The incident has nothing to do with me or DP Ruto. We are good friends,” tweeted Ms Chege.

Police at Kenol in Murang'a County use tear gas to disperse clashing supporters of Jubilee Party's Tangatanga and Kieleweke factions on October 4, 2020.

Photo credit: Joseph Kanyi | Nation Media Group

NCIC outraged

Meanwhile, the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) said it wants the arrest and prosecution of perpetrators of the violence ahead of a visit by the Deputy President.

At a press conference on Sunday, NCIC chair Samuel Kobia said, “We call upon security and investigative agencies to identify, arrest, and prosecute those who participated in mobilising and organising youths who ended up causing the violent confrontation. We are not going to sit back and allow our country to be turned into a war field.”

Rev. Kobia said the commission is outraged by the rising political temperature over the past few months and its degeneration into violence.

He said the NCIC is “sickened by the manifestation of hatred and intolerance by public figures” and that it has noted with concern attacks and counter-attacks among politicians, that have created space for threats of violence to emerge. 

“Of significance is the hustlers dynasty clash that mirrors the narrative preceded the Rwanda genocide,” Rev. Kobia told journalists at Sarova Whitesands hotel in Mombasa County.

Deputy President William Ruto interacts with residents of Kenol, Murang'a County, during a visit on October 4, 2020.

Photo credit: Joseph Kanyi | Nation Media Group

Ugly past

The commission warned politicians against preaching divisive politics and condemned acts of intolerance, incitement, violence and murder perpetrated by public figures.

It told them they must discourage the rhetoric of hate and violence that has escalated as they prepare for the 2022 General Election.

“We support constructive, honest and useful public debates but will not condone discourses that prematurely draw us into an early campaign period,” said the chair.

Citing the 2007/8 post-election violence, that left at least 1,300 people dead and more than 650,000 internally displaced, Rev. Kobia said it should be clear to Kenyans that violence is not a solution to any challenge.

“We would like to remind Kenyans and politicians that this country has a deep reverence for the Constitution and rule of law. Non-violence is a fundamental right. We use this sad event to reaffirm the need to respect divergent views and remember the values of peace, national ethos and cohesion that represent the people of Kenya,” he said.

Rev. Kobia also told all political parties to recognise the rights of each Kenyan.

mgongo@ke.nationmedia.com