By Christine Musa in Kajiado County.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiang’i on Thursday, June 27 sent a stern warning to Starehe MP Charles Njagua Kanyi, alias Jaguar, against making inflammatory remarks that risk jeopardising regional diplomatic ties.
Matiang’i said if the first-time lawmaker doesn’t refrain from making “reckless remarks that paint Kenya in bad light”, then the country’s law enforcement agents would be left with no choice but to deal “ruthlessly” with the parliamentarian.
Matiang’i spoke on Thursday afternoon in Kajiado Town, where he had gone to launch a rapid response facility.
Referring to Jaguar by his name, Matiang’i said: “We won’t allow him to plunge Kenya into loggerheads with other countries in the region, particularly East Africa. His Monday remarks risk throwing the country into diplomatic row with its neighbours. Jaguar owes Kenyans an apology for subjecting them to regional anger.”
Matiang’i said he suspects Jaguar made the remarks to “gain political mileage”.
Asserting his authority, the Interior minister said: “Any leader who makes reckless statements that put Kenya at loggerheads with her neighbours will face the full wrath of the law.”
The CS pledged the government’s support toward regional integration.
Matiang’i’s tough talk comes just a day after MP Jaguar was arrested for asking traders in Nairobi to eject Tanzanian and Ugandan business operators, whom he accused of taking over the city markets.
“If you visit our markets, you would realise they have been taken over by Tanzanian and Ugandan traders. It is time we say: ‘Enough is enough’! We give the Kenyan authorities 24 hours to send the foreign traders away. If they don’t, we – personally — will beat them up and kick them out. We fear nobody,” Jaguar was recorded as saying in a now-viral video clip.
The Starehe representative was arrested outside Parliament Buildings, and spent Wednesday night at Kileleshwa Police Station.
He was arraigned on Thursday at the Milimani Law Courts, where the judge directed he be detained for another night pending a ruling on Friday whether he will be freed on bail.
The legislator sent out a social media post on Thursday accusing the media of distorting what he meant in his controversial remarks.
“My recent sentiments over the invading of our markets by foreigners have been greatly misinterpreted. I mean peace for the country and businesses should go on uninterrupted; and, all foreigners are welcome to our country,” tweeted the embattled MP.