Head of military Samson Mwathethe told to keep off politics

Monday October 23 2017

Samson Mwathethe.

Chief of Defence Forces Gen Samson Mwathethe at Central ASK show in Nyeri County on September 14, 2017. Kilifi Opposition leaders have asked him to keep off politics. PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By CHARLES LWANGA
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Kilifi politicians want Chief of Defence Forces Samson Mwathethe to distance himself from Coast politics and remain professional.

Speaking during an anti-election rally at Madunguni in Malindi, Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi, who led a team of nine Opposition MPs, said the military should restrict itself to its duty of protecting citizens from external threats.

DUTY

“As elected leaders, we have a duty of giving the right direction to our people in accordance to law without fear of intimidation,” he said adding, “We are advocating secession in line with the International Statutes to enable the region choose its own path of self-governance after being mistreated for long.”

On Saturday Gen Mwathethe asked politicians to avoid talks that will divide the country ahead of Thursday’s presidential polls.

He warned politicians against secession calls terming it as a recipe for chaos and war.

Mr Kingi said although Gen Mwathethe sits at the National Security Council, he should avoid being partisan in local politics and remain a professional as Kenya is not a military state.

INCITEMENT

“If we feel aggrieved as a region inside our country Kenya, then we have a right for self-determination under the rule of law and at the moment we feel our rights have been stumbled upon and no amount of intimidation will stop our cause,” added Mr Kingi.

Gen Mwathethe said the utterances by politicians that amount to incitement were shocking and could plunge the country into civil unrest if not tamed in time.

“In my career as a soldier, I have travelled to many war-torn countries such as Iraq, Iran and Yugoslavia and I would not wish what I experienced there to be replicated in Kenya,” said Gen Mwathethe.

Mr Kingi said Gen Mwathethe, being a native of Kilifi County, will also benefit from the push for good governance that will resolve historical land injustices.

SECESSION

His sentiments were echoed by Senator Stewart Madzayo who said secession is a peaceful and legal means of self-determination as provided in the International Statutes and the Constitution 2010.

Kilifi North MP Owen Baya said he will table a Bill in Parliament to begin the journey to secession if the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) insists on holding the October 26 repeat presidential election without implementing reforms.

Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa and her Magarini counterpart Michael Kingi urged residents not to participate in the Thursday polls as IEBC Commissioner Roselyne Akombe revealed it is not credible.

Also present during the event were Kaloleni MP Paul Katana, Teddy Mwambire (Ganze), William Kamoti (Rabai) and Kilifi Woman Representative Getrude Mbeyu.