We’ll deal firmly with leaders who incite violence, Uhuru says

Friday June 9 2017

President Uhuru Kenyatta during a recruits’ pass out parade in Eldoret on June 9, 2017. He warned leaders inciting Kenyans during the ongoing campaigns that they will be dealt with firmly. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP

President Uhuru Kenyatta during a recruits’ pass out parade in Eldoret on June 9, 2017. He warned leaders inciting Kenyans during the ongoing campaigns that they will be dealt with firmly. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By JEREMIAH KIPLANG'AT
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President Uhuru Kenyatta has warned that leaders who will incite Kenyans to fight one another ahead of the August general election will be dealt with firmly.

He said his government will not tolerate leaders who are out to divide Kenyans and those propagating violence saying they will be taught a lesson.

Speaking Friday at Moi Barracks in Eldoret during a recruits’ pass out parade, the President was categorical that he will not allow any acts of lawlessness during the electioneering period.

“I want to be perfectly clear, these perpetrators of violence and lawlessness will be dealt with. There is no room for those who want to divide us. There is no room in Kenya for those who want to snatch away the property others have laboured to build, and there is absolutely no room here for those who will raise their hands against their brothers and sisters and fellow countrymen. Leaders of incitement and violence will learn their lesson,” he said.

TENSION

He spoke in a county where tension has been rising following a fierce political battle for its governorship pitting incumbent Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago and an independent candidate, Bundotich Kiprotich Zedekiah Buzeki.

The governor, who was present during the parade, is under investigation alongside two MPs Alfred Keter (Nandi Hills) and Oscar Sudi (Kapseret) over comments they made last week after they were cleared by the IEBC to seek re-election.

They were reported to have threatened to ask their supporters to vote for the opposition if a certain community in the county continues to support Mr Mandago’s rival.

On Thursday, Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery said the three are under investigations and that action would be taken if their utterances are found to be inciting.

KERIO VALLEY

The President also spoke about the insecurity in Kerio Valley saying he will ensure order prevails soon.

He said the KDF soldiers deployed in the region are working with the police to stamp out banditry and restore peace.

“We have recently seen an escalation of violence in parts of the North Rift. Communities have been divided, property has been destroyed and stolen and Kenyans have lost lives but we shall restore order. The KDF are helping the police to restore law and order there,” he said.

Since coming into office, the President has come under pressure from the opposition to withdraw KDF troops from Somalia following deadly Al-Shabaab attacks.

KDF IN SOMALIA

But while speaking in Eldoret, he said he is happy that Kenya is playing its role in restoring order well in the neighbouring country.

The troops were deployed in Somalia by former President Mwai Kibaki in 2011.

“With our allies we have victories to show. We have degraded the capacity of Al-Shabaab to carry out attacks in Kenya and elsewhere and our collective efforts have led to the establishment of successive civilian governments in Somalia,” he said.

He added that the extremist ideals that the terrorist group is seeking to enforce in Somalia are not acceptable.

FREEDOM OF WORSHIP

“Freedom of worship shows strength and not weakness and we know that a country whose people are free to choose their leaders is stronger…our freedoms make us better than our enemy and our freedoms make us stronger than the enemy. That is why we shall win this war,” said the Head of State.

The Shabaab group seeks to enforce Sharia law in Somalia and also wants to prohibit girls from going to school.

The President had earlier been scheduled to tour Eldoret town after the parade but he cut short Friday’s programme and returned to Nairobi.

Sources said he was set to attend a Jubilee campaign fundraiser at a city hotel.

However, he will return to the Rift on Saturday where he will address rallies in Elgeyo-Marakwet in the morning and Uasin Gishu in the afternoon.

He is expected in Bungoma on Sunday.