By Beth Nyaga
Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) has issued a 24 hour ultimatum for the police to release the eight legislators detained over hate speech allegations.
“If the MPs are not released, we will resume our demonstrations on Monday,” CORD said.
The CORD principals Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses Wetangula claim that the legislators’ rights have been violated since the detention amounts to detention without trial.
Speaking at Pangani Police Station, the CORD leaders demanded that all the MPs being held should be released regardless of their political affiliation and without proffering any charges against them.
Kalonzo accused President Uhuru Kenyatta of using the police to oppress the opposition saying that their resolve to have the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) disbanded will not be stopped by whatever levels of intimidation.
The government is turning repressive and bullying any opposition leader who dares ask for accountability,” said Kalonzo added.
CORD further accused the Presidency of “turning the police force into a personal and political militia” and has threatened to disengage from the IEBC talks.
Opposition MPs Junet Mohammed (Suna East), Aisha Jumwa (Kilifi Women Rep), Timothy Bosire (Kitutu Masaba), Florence Mutua (Busia Women Rep) and Machakos Senator Johnstone Muthama were arrested alongside Jubilee’s Moses Kuria, Ferdinand Waititu and Kimani Ngunjiri on Tuesday over alleged hate speech and incitement to violence.
Their bail application was denied at Pangani Police Station after the prosecution requested for four days to conclude investigations.
Meanwhile, the National Cohesion and Integration Commission is proposing a law that will lock out hate mongers from seeking public office.
The commission’s Chairperson Francis Ole Kaparo who appeared before the parliamentary joint committee on cohesion informed the committee of amendments to the NCIC Act that have been forwarded to the Attorney General’s office.
The Act also among other things seeks to lock out politicians involved in hate mongering from vying in the next general election.