Senator Murkomen plays down significance of Raila-Kuria lunch date

Senator Murkomen speaking in Elgeyo Marakwet on May 14, 2016

Elgeyo Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen has played down the significance of the lunch meeting between CORD leader Raila Odinga and Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria.

Raila, alongside CORD co-principals Moses Wetangula and Kalonzo Musyoka had on Tuesday held a lunch meeting with seven of the eight legislators detained in Pangani and Muthaiga police cells last week over allegations of hate speech.

The lunch meeting was attended by MPs Moses Kuria (Gatundu South) and Kimani Ngunjiri (Bahati) of Jubilee, and CORD’s Junet Mohammed (Suna East MP), Timothy Bosire (Kitutu Masaba MP), Women Representatives Aisha Jumwa (Kilifi) and Florence Mutua (Busia) and Machakos Senator Johnstone Muthama with only Kabete MP Ferdinand Waititu skipping the meeting as he had to attend a funeral.

The meeting elicited praise and condemnation in equal measure some members of the public seeing it as a Public Relations gimmick by the legislators to have their cases thrown out.

Murkomen, in a Twitter post stated: “Eating lunch together across the political divide is common among us. We do it often at the Parliamentary restaurant.”

The leaders used the opportunity to detail their experiences in the cells calling on Kenyans to shun ethnic divisions and live in peace.

Kuria and his Jubilee counterpart Ngunjiri Kimani, in their speeches, said Kenyans should not allow political differences to divide them saying as leaders they have no personal differences.

CORD principals, in their address, hit out at Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery over the arrest of their legislators last week.

The coalition leader Raila Odinga accused Nkaissery of dictatorship saying his tendencies to issue orders are synonymous with military ranks.

He warned that the coalition would not be cowed in its push for the reformation of IEBC noting that Kenyans have no faith with the electoral body.

Nkaissery has however distanced himself from the arrest of the legislators saying he does not have the powers to execute their arrests.

He however said that the arrests were owing to the allegations of hate speech and incitement to violence leveled against the legislators.

“Political leaders are out saying I have dictatorial tendencies and that I orchestrated the arrest of the eight legislators. They should know I do not have the powers to arrest anyone because that is the work of the law, but the arrests of the legislators were warranted.”

“You must be ready to take responsibility for your utterances, and this does not just apply to political leaders but all Kenyans. If this is what dictatorship mean, then we will not relent,” he said.

Raila also cautioned the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) chair Francis ole Kaparo against attempts to micromanage the country saying the legislators have a right to raise concerns over issues affecting the country.

His sentiments weer echoed by Ford Kenya leader Wetangula and Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka who accused Kaparo of maliciously targeting CORD in his apparent crackdown on hate speech.

Wetangula compared Kaparo to “a dog that does not bite” saying there is need for the commission to get serious in executing its mandate.


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Story By Benjamin Wafula
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