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EALA MP arrested after remark on arming Kenyan citizens

Kenya is among East African nations with strict gun-control laws

EALA MP and UDA politician Florence Jematia Sergon during an August 2021 rally

East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) member Florence Jematia Sergon has been grilled at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) headquarters over sentiments she made in a public gathering in Baringo County.

Baringo County, in Northern Kenya, is a volatile area plagued by cattle rustling, a situation the government of Kenya has mediated for years.

In videos seen doing rounds on social media the MP is heard threatening to arm the residents to repel armed bandits who are causing havoc in the region.

Jematia was arrested on Wednesday morning within Nairobi’s Westpark Estate and driven to Nairobi Area DCI offices for questioning before she was transferred to the DCI headquarters along Kiambu Road.

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Jematia had been on the run after police in Kabarnet summoned her on incitement charges. In the video, Jematia said she was willing to put up a Paybill number for the residents to acquire firearms.

She made a comparison of how well-equipped the officers around the event were yet the residents were unarmed and allegedly unsafe. Jematia is expected to be arraigned in court after grilling.

Politicians facing scrutiny ahead of August 9 General Election

The National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) is keen to minimize inciteful utterances ahead of the August 9 General Election.

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Baringo County Commissioner Abdirizak Jaldesa said that two other local politicians who were also present in the meeting were taken in for questioning.

Meru Senator Mithika Linturi was arrested and charged for inciteful remarks made at an Eldoret rally on January 8.

Linturi, a United Democratic Alliance (UDA) politician used the term madoadoa which has been recorded in Kenya's history as being connected to political violence.

"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.

"(We want to form the next government and I urge you, people of Uasin Gishu, not to underestimate Kenyans, do your part in removing the spots among you.)" the senator stated.

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Senator Linturi had issued an apology, insisting that he had uttered the words in reference to aspiring leaders in the region.

"At that moment, I was vigorously urging our supporters to offer full support to UDA candidates in this year's election, and was oblivious of the possibility that my choice of words might assume negative meaning. It is true that words like 'madoadoa' whilst otherwise innocent and legitimate expressions, have in certain contexts come to be understood as representing inflammatory intent.

"On further reflection, and upon the advise of my colleagues, I regretfully concede that my choice of words was unfortunate. I therefore apologise unreservedly for the discomfort they may have created," the politician said in a statement posted on his social media pages.

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