Duale isolated as Ruto talks tough on terror

The Leader of the Majority in the National Assembly Aden Duale is being increasingly isolated by leaders of the ruling Jubilee coalition following his comments about recent terrorist attacks.

Deputy President William Ruto, who is the party leader of URP to which Mr Duale belongs, Saturday said the government was not ready to engage in a debate on its crusade to stamp out terrorism and other criminal activities.

He spoke as Mr Duale suggested that his comments on terrorism had been misconstrued.

“Get the translation correct,” Mr Duale texted from London where he is accompanying President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Mr Duale accompanied President Kenyatta on a state visit to Turkey before heading for the London Marathon Sunday in which First Lady Margaret Kenyatta is participating.

Mr Ruto’s firm position and the statements made by 24 Jubilee legislators in Murang’a, at a thanksgiving service for Murang’a Woman Representative Sabina Chege are the latest indication that Mr Duale’s place in the Jubilee administration is becoming tenuous.

The Deputy President said the government was not ready to negotiate with any group of persons hindering peace efforts in the country.

“Let it be clear that there will be no debate or discussions on our resolve to crack down on all criminal gangs terrorising wananchi in any part of this country. We must win the war against terror,” said Mr Ruto.

He said the government will do everything possible to ensure law and order are maintained across the country to enable the residents engage in development activities without fear of being attacked.

“We have decided that there will be no room for acts of lawlessness in any part of the country. We will go after these criminal gangs wherever they are,” said Mr Ruto.

Addressing a rally in Eastleigh last week after the government went on the offensive against suspected terrorists and illegal immigrants, Mr Duale allegedly made remarks to the effect that terrorists should target other regions of the country far from Eastleigh.

Speaking in Somali, Mr Duale said: “Eastleigh is our umbilical cord. You must arrest anyone who is spoiling Eastleigh — even if he is Adan Barre’s brother. Those who are detonating explosives in Eastleigh should do it elsewhere. Had the one who is detonating explosives here done that in Machakos, do you think the people of Eastleigh would have been harassed?”

The remarks by Mr Duale as the country experiences increased insecurity have sparked a wave of condemnation and calls for him to own up and resign his position as the Leader of Majority in the National Assembly.

Ol Jororok MP J.M. Waiganjo condemned Mr Duale’s remarks as “reckless” but said they were not reason enough for his ouster.

Mr Waiganjo said that while he has no problem with Mr Duale addressing his community, he ought to watch his language.

“As a leader in Parliament his comments were a little reckless, especially in the manner he approached them. He should be very careful because it is like he is working against the government of which he is part of,” the TNA legislator said.

Senate Majority Leader Kithure Kindiki, who accompanied Mr Ruto, urged the government not to relent in the war on terrorism

“If these terrorists enter churches or mosques, we should go after them. We should not allow criminals to take charge in any part of this country,” said Prof Kindiki.

National Assembly Deputy Speaker Joyce Laboso asked leaders to support the government in the fight against insecurity.

“The war on insecurity is unstoppable and all leaders should support the ongoing crusade against terrorism and other criminal activities,” she said.

And, speaking in Kisii, Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero supported the government crackdown on illegal immigrants.-nation.co.ke

Murang'a county women representative Sabina Chege, left, presents a sculpture gift to Deputy President William Ruto during a thanksgiving ceremony for her and a fundraiser towards women groups at Kenol town in Murang'a on April 12, 2014. Photo/JOSEPH KANYI

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