Ditch Uhuru and Ruto, Raila tells Narok MPs
Cord leaders Monday accused the government of dictatorship for arresting five Narok legislators who led a protest march against Governor Samuel Tunai last week.
Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga said the government humiliated the leaders by having them arrested and charged yet, according to him, they had not committed any crime.
He protested that the Senator and five MPs had been treated “as if they were criminals” yet they were defending the rights of their community.
“They want to take Kenya back to the dark days yet we have been fighting for freedom of expression,” he said. “We will not allow corruption or some people to benefit from proceeds of the Mara.”
Mr Odinga was speaking at Esupetai village in Narok South sub-county during the burial of Sikona ole Muntet, who was one of two people shot dead by police during protests led by Senator Stephen ole Ntutu on Monday last week.
The issue has attracted national political attention because of the by-election scheduled for next month in neighbouring Kajiado Central constituency where the former area MP, Maj-Gen (rtd) Joseph Nkaissery, resigned from the seat to take up a job as the Cabinet Secretary for the Interior and Co-ordination of the National Government. Mr Nkaissery had been elected to the post on an ODM ticket but quit to join the Jubilee Coalition government.
During the funeral, where emotions ran high, Cord leaders Odinga and Kalonzo Musyoka Mr Raila and Mr Kalonzo urged Senator Ntutu and MPs Moitalel ole Kenta (Narok North), Korei Lemein (Narok South), Patrick Ntutu (Narok West) and Johanna Ngeno (Emurua Dikirr) to ditch the Jubilee Coalition if the cases against them are not dropped.
CHARGE THE FIVE WITH MURDER
The Director of Public Prosecution, Mr Keriako Tobiko, had intended to charge the five with murder over the deaths of the two protesters but asked a Nairobi court to put the case on hold and release the five on bail due to the unrest that the arrest and prosecution of the leaders caused in Narok.
Both Mr Odinga and Mr Musyoka yesterday said they would join Narok residents in another demonstration which the local leaders have said will be held on February 23.
However, former Narok North MP William ole Ntimama, while addressing the mourners, urged President Uhuru Kenyatta to help in finding a solution to the crisis in Narok County before it becomes a full blown insecurity crisis.
Mr Musyoka said it was wrong to arrest and charge the five politicians for leading a demonstration yet the Constitution had given the public the right to picket.
“The Constitution has given everyone the right to hold a demonstration without any police harassment. What the government did was wrong and unconstitutional,” said Mr Musyoka, who is also the leader of the Wiper Democratic Party. He also asked Mr Tobiko to drop the cases against the five.
“If the DPP does not drop the charges by the next mention of the cases on February 13, then we will ask the leaders to ditch Jubilee and join Cord and then seek for re-election from voters,” he said.
Mr Odinga accused the Jubilee administration of abetting corruption and intimidating wananchi and their leaders agitating for upright leadership.
He described the arrest and charging of the five leaders as heroic saying they had been “elevated to the level of liberators”.
Mr Ngeno said the leaders will soon reveal the names of several senators and MPs who had benefited irregularly from the Mara proceeds.
The Narok County earns about Sh2 billion from revenue collected from the Maasai Mara Game Reserve. The five politicians had led a demonstration to demand greater accountability on how the revenue was being spent by the county government. In his reply, the Governor, Mr Samuel Tunai, said he was being targeted from disrupting the old networks that had controlled the money.
REMOVE TUNAI FROM OFFICE
The five politicians have vowed to remove Mr Tunai from office over the dispute.
During the funeral, leaders referred to them as “The Muthaiga Five” because after their arrest on Wednesday, they were held overnight at Muthaiga Police Station before being charged on Thursday.
They on Monday said they were not being treated like elected leaders and accused the Government of taking sides in the county’s leadership wrangles.
They also threatened to withdraw their support from the Jubilee Coalition.
They demanded for the arrest of the security officers who shot Muntet during the protest which turned violent.
“We are demanding for accountability and our agitation is not driven by clanism or ethinicity,” said Mr Ntutu. He said the time for negotiation was long overdue and accused the auditor-general and the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission of dragging their feet in investigating corruption claims in the county.
“We took our complains to respective bodies but they never listened to us. The matter is now with the people and they must be told the truth,” he told mourners.
On Wednesday, business in most part of the county was paralysed when residents held protests against the arrest of the Senator and four members of the National Assembly and barricaded all roads that pass through the region. The protest continued on Thursday when the five appeared in court.