Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua has called on artists to shun persons facing integrity issues, including attempts to revive the outlawed Mungiki sect through music functions.
Mr Gachagua’s remarks come one week after female parliamentarians from Mt Kenya region raised alarm over the resurgence of the illegal group and sanitizing of its activities; a move that they said is instilling fear among women.
“I want to plead with our artists to be very careful. Do not allow yourselves to be misused and your functions to be hijacked by people of dubious character and bad history. They scare women away from your functions,” said the Deputy President during the launch of Samidoh Foundation on Thursday night at Parklands Sports Club Nairobi.
The charity non-governmental organization is owned by Kikuyu musician Muchoki Samidoh.
“Please do not be abused by people with questionable character. The people trying to use you now, you know what they did to our youth and what became of our children,” he told the artists.
The Deputy President stated that persons associated with the outlawed group are trying to return to the public through events organised by artists and hijacking the functions to address crowds. He asked artists to ensure their events are dignified by denying tainted people a platform to speak to the audience.
“They are trying to come back through you (artists) by hijacking the ceremonies.
Leaders and businessmen have started isolating those individuals. We will only appreciate and attend functions where there are women, youth, elders and there is dignified seating,” he said.
He was representing President William Ruto at the event. Recently, the Deputy President warned that the attempt to revive the Mungiki sect will be met with decisive action as he recalled that at its peak, the outlawed group was known for extortion of business persons, rapes and killings.
The Deputy President was accompanied by Cabinet Secretary for Youth Affairs, Sports and the Arts Ababu Namwamba, Principal Secretaries Alex Wachira (Energy) and Eng John Mbugua (Transport) and over 10 Members of Parliament and Senators.
In his remarks, the Deputy President said the government has rolled out plans to commercialize talents through the Talanta Hela Initiative.
“In our Kenya Kwanza Plan we have Five Pillars and one of them is the Digital Superhighway and Creative Economy. We want talents to be a source of income.
We want to encourage talented people to take their talents as a business, develop it as a business, and make money out of it because it is a business like any other so that you are not just harnessing your talent for the sake of it but it also becomes a means of income,” Mr Gachagua.
He further asked artists to embrace a saving culture for a dignified life in future.
“Make hay when the sun shines but also learn to save money because you will not be young forever. When you grow older, you need to have invested your youthful life for the future. Let us pursue talents, make money but also invest because that money will be a blessing to you in old age,” he stated.
Leaders accompanying the DP at the function include senators John Methu (Nyandarua), Wahome Wamatinga (Nyeri), Karungo Thang’wa (Kiambu), Joseph Githuku (Lamu), Betty Montet (Nominated), Karen Nyamu (Nominated), Maureen Mutinda (Nominated) and Mirajj Abdillahi (Nominated).
MPs Geoffrey Ruku (Mbeere North), Augustine Mwafrika (Roysambu), Benjamin Gathiru alias Mejja Donk (Embakasi Central), Eric Wa Mumbi (Mathira) and Woman Representatives Faith Gitau, (Nyandarua) Muthoni Marubu (Lamu), Betty Maina (Murang’a), Rahab Mukami (Nyeri) and Njeri Maina (Kirinyaga) were also present.