Photo / Beatrice Gatonye
A section of women leaders drawn from the Mt Kenya region is expressing concern over utterances by politicians that have the potential to plunge the country into chaos.
The group comprising women from major political parties in Central Kenya including Jubilee, KANU, Chama Cha Kazi, Democratic Party, PNU, and Narc Kenya, condemned the remarks made by Meru Senator Mithika linturi during a political rally organized by Deputy President William Ruto’s United Democratic Alliance (UDA) in Eldoret on Saturday noting they will only sow seeds of discord between communities.
During the rally in Eldoret, Linturi was recorded saying: “Sisi tunataka kuwa kwa serikali inayokuja lakini nawaambia watu wa Uasin Gishu msicheze na Kenya na kile nawaomba ni kwamba madoadoa yale mliyonayo hapa muweze kuondoa. Hatuwezi kuwa tukisimama na William Ruto kule Mt Kenya na mko na wengine hapa hawasikii na hawawezi ungana naye.”
They lamented that divisive slogans like ‘Madoadoa’ have in the past caused the deaths of many Kenyans and can therefore not be allowed to creep up again.
“We condemn the use of hate speech using words like madoadoa which from history have proven to be clarion call for ethnic clashes and war in this country,” the women leaders said in a statement read on their behalf by Nyeri County Deputy Governor Caroline Karugu.
They took issue with the use of the word ‘madoadoa’ saying it had been flagged as having been at the heart of the pre and post election violence witnessed in Kenya both in 1992 and 2007/2008.
According to the women leaders, women and children bear the greatest brunt of any form of instability. The timing of these remarks by Linturi, they argued raises many questions than answers given that “the greatest victims of any kind of electoral violence is us women and our children.” They charged that cases of sexual and gender based violence remain rampant in every political cycle in Kenya.
To deter political leaders from engaging in the kind of talk that could undermine peace and harmony in the country, the women leaders and appreciating that the elections are fast approaching, the women leaders are calling on the authorities to take decisive action against the perpetrators. They demanded nothing short of prompt investigation and prosecution of offenders.
“We urge all politicians at every level and from every political shade to cease and desist from the use of language that incites our communities,” the charged