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Ole Kina to face hate speech charges

Wednesday March 18 2020
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Narok Senator Ledama ole Kina (centre) at the Kilimani Police station on February 25, 2020. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By MARY WAMBUI

Narok Senator Ledama ole Kina will be charged in court on March 4 with hate speech and ethnic contempt utterances.

Mr Kina was arrested while leaving Royal Media Services offices by DCI detectives attached to the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) and driven to Kilimani police station where he was questioned and locked up before later being released on a free bond.

CALL FOR PEACE

After his release, Mr Kina blamed his woes on Deputy President William Ruto and vowed to continue fighting for the Maa community.

“My arrest is an insult to the Maa nation. Mine is a quest for justice for the Maa community. We shall defend our land and territories with our sweat and blood,” said the lawmaker who was accompanied by Narok North MP Moitalel ole Kenta.

Mr Kenta defended the senator and urged the Maa community to remain peaceful as they continue to hold talks and articulate issues that affect them.

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“The BBI is an avenue for our issues to be heard. Kenya cannot be united if we do not accept to discuss what is hurting us. Every community has the right to own land and we have no issues with those who acquired land legally,” the MP said.

NCIC accused Mr Kina of making inciteful utterances on February 19 during the JKL show on Citizen TV.

“The invective and diatribe ... have caused animosity and triggered tension among the different communities living in Narok County. Peace has been destabilised as a result of these reckless utterances and therefore Hon Ledama will be held responsible,” NCIC chairman Samuel Kobia said in a statement.

“We shall not tolerate [these] kinds of utterances that are dividing Kenyans along ethnic and tribal lines. Any leader regardless of their political affiliation or station in life will be held accountable for their own actions,” Dr Kobia said.

The commission urged politicians to use BBI forums to address their issues amicably without inciting and dividing Kenyans and not as a tool to seek or demonstrate political supremacy.

In the televised interview, Mr Kina said he was a Maasai first and Kenyan second and vowed to continue pushing for an an end to the encroachment on Maasai-dominated areas by non-locals. He also vowed to fight against their being sidelined in positions of leadership.

During the rally in Narok at the William ole Ntimama Stadium on Saturday, the senator reiterated his remarks and warned outsiders against meddling in issues of the Maasai whom, he said, had been harassed and terrorised by non-locals who want to take over their political leadership.

While being arrested, Mr Kina said: “A coward dies a thousand times, but a soldier dies once and I am not a coward.”

He continued: “This is my message to the Maasai nation, today; I’m involved in a quest for truth and justice and no amount of intimidation will deter me. I’m going to pursue justice for the rest of my life.”

After detectives questioned him, he was taken to the cells. Initial attempts by his lawyers to have him freed were unsuccessful.

Mr Kina’s lawyer, Prof George Wajackoya, accused the NCIC of acting on information that’s not in a Gazette platform that can be relied upon as evidence in court.

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