Politician paid youth who disrupted President Uhuru Kenyatta meeting, say police
What you need to know:
- Officers said a senior politician is also likely to be arrested in connection with the fracas.
- Youths hurled shoes and chairs at the dais while chanting ODM songs.
pePolice suspect that youths who heckled speakers during President Kenyatta’s rally in Migori could have been hired by a local politician.
They are tracking Sh60,000 in M-Pesa transactions between the MP and 10 people arrested in connection with the embarrassing heckling and throwing of shoes at the presidential function on Monday. Kenyans have roundly condemned the chaos.
Officers said a senior politician is also likely to be arrested in connection with the fracas during which the President’s function was cut short.
On Tuesday, Members of Parliament from Migori apologised to the President for the embarrassment he faced during the function and attributed the chaos to local county politics pitting area Governor Okoth Obado against some leaders.
Nyanza Regional Commissioner Francis Mutie said the five in police custody had provided vital information, including the names of some of the leaders who allegedly funded them.
LOOKING FOR MORE
“You are soon going to see high-profile arrests,” he said. “We are not going to spare anybody, irrespective of his standing in society, and we have dependable leads into this matter.”
He did not name the individuals.
Mr Mutie spoke after chairing a security meeting that was also attended by County Commissioner Anne Ng’etich and intelligence officers.
County police boss Clement Gatogo said: “We are still looking for more, and we have important leads. We will finally get all of them and we ask members of the public who know their whereabouts to inform us.”
President Kenyatta on Monday cut short the launch of a Sh7 billion mosquito-net distribution campaign after youths hurled shoes and chairs at the dais while chanting ODM songs.
National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale laid the blame on Cord leader Raila Odinga and asked him to stop what he called the politics of intolerance and ethnicity.
APOLOGISE TO KENYANS
“The era when it was fashionable that to get to people in one region you need to go through one godfather is gone. It is now in black and white that certain political parties represent intolerance, ethnic division and polarisation. The Cord leader should come out, apologise to Kenyans and the President,” he said.
Mr Obado, the Migori governor, and the 60 members of the county assembly, accused unnamed leaders of misusing jobless youths to disrupt the function.
“Our investigations have revealed that there were hired youths with the express intention to spoil the function,” he said.
Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero condemned the chaos and called youths' actions “primitive”.
“It is sad that it is only in Nyanza where we have such characters, people who will be hired to disrupt such an event to pass an obscene political message,” he said.
That all was not well among Migori leaders came out two weeks ago when local MPs boycotted a fund-raising meeting by Cord leader Raila Odinga to protest their late invitation by Suna East MP Junet Mohammed.
A few days later, five MPs from Migori went to State House to discuss plans for the meeting.
Mr Mohammed and Migori County Women Representative Dennita Ghati, both close allies of Mr Odinga, did not attend.
Nyatike MP Omondi Anyanga, who chairs the Migori parliamentary group, condemned the Monday incident, calling it “one of the most barbaric occurrences” in the county.
“We know they had issues and targeted the governor, but why were they doing it at the President’s meeting? We apologise to the Presidency for this.”
'MUST BE RESPECTED'
Ford-Kenya party leader Eugene Wamalwa also condemned the chaos, saying it reminded Kenyans of events from the past, with negative implications for the unity of the country.
“Uhuru Kenyatta is the President of Kenya regardless of which party he is in. He must be respected for the unity of the country. It was sad and the good people of Nyanza should not be doing this,” he said.
Governors Hassan Joho (Mombasa), Jack Ranguma (Kisumu) and Isaac Ruto (Bomet) condemned the chaos and asked Nyanza residents to embrace others.
Mr Joho warned that the heckling could jeopardise Mr Odinga’s chances of winning the next elections.
“I strongly condemn the chaos that marred the presidential function in Migori. It was an unfortunate occurrence and extremely inappropriate. We must all respect the institutions of the presidency and (the) governorship,” he said.
Mr Ranguma said such actions were not likely to happen in other areas.
“Yesterday, I went to Kirinyaga in the presence of other ODM leaders, but (I) was given time to speak without being heckled by local residents,” he said.
Cord Secretary-General Anyang’ Nyong’o criticised the chaos in a statement on Monday night.