Deputy President William Ruto has warned politicians against inciting Kenyans to violence, hate speech and advocacy of hatred.
DP Ruto’s comments come hot on the heels of the arrest of Senator Ledama ole Kina on Tuesday over alleged incitement of Kajiado and Narok residents against non-Maa people.
“Every Kenyan is free to do business, farm, buy land and seek elective posts anywhere in the country be it Nakuru, Kitale, Kisumu, Narok or Meru counties,” said DP Ruto.
The Deputy President was speaking on Wednesday, February 26, in Lanet, Nakuru County during the burial of Josephine Wambui Kimotho, mother of former Nakuru mayor Samuel Mwangi.
The Jubilee leader said leaders who threaten the peace will be subjected to the rule of law.
Ole Kina got himself in hot soup over his comments at a Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) rally in Narok where he declared that the county belonged to the Maasai and that “outsiders” will not be allowed to interfere with the county’s political affairs.
Following his comments, criticism and push for his arrest came fast as a cross-section of leaders accused him of ethnic incitement.
Two days after making the comments, the senator was eventually arrested outside Royal Media Services and whisked to Kilimani Police Station.
The fiery senator was picked up by detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations with the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) confirming that it was behind his arrest.
NCIC said that the senator’s comments in the Narok rally bordered on hate speech.
But after several hours in police custody, Ole Kina was released and vowed to fight on for the rights of the Maa despite his arrest.
He accused DP Ruto of being behind his arrest.
Some leaders from the Maa community said that the senator had done nothing wrong and was only voicing statements that were agreed on by the community at the pre-BBI rally consultative meeting.
“We are not saying that people should leave Maasai land. Let them do anything but leave politics to the Maasai community,” said former Nairobi County Assembly Speaker Alex Magelo.
Magelo said that the Maasai community had been sidelined in positions of leadership and that non-locals had encroached on the Maasai-dominated areas, leaving them desperate.
Apart from local political leadership issues, Ole Kina and other Maasai leaders are pushing for regulation of land use.
But Kericho and Nakuru county governors, Prof Paul Chepkwony and Lee Kinyanjui, accuses Ole Kina of incitement and termed his statements retrogressive and divisive.