Statement behind arrest of MP Richard Onyonka

The MP recently recovered from a poisoning attempt

Kitutu Chache South MP Richard Onyonka arrested

Kitutu Chache Member of Parliament (MP) Richard Onyonka has been arrested for allegedly uttering inciteful remarks.

The legislator was apprehended by officers from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) in Kisii town. He will be grilled by detectives before being arraigned in court.

Onyonka’s arrest came hours after the Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji ordered Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai to look into utterances made by the MP during a rally in Kisii.

“Reference is made to a video clip circulating on social media platforms in which Hon. Richard Onyonka, MP for Kitutu Chache Constituency is addressing a gathering in Kisii County. The alleged remarks captured in the video clip may be contrary to Article 33 (2) of the constitution of Kenya, 2010, which provides inter alia that ‘the right to freedom of expression does not extend to (a) propaganda for war; (b) incitement to violence; (c) hate speech; or (d) advocacy of hatred’ and section 62 (1) of the National; Cohesion and Integration act, No. 12 of 2008.

“Pursuant to article 157 (4) of the constitution of Kenya, 2010, you are hereby directed to undertake investigations into the aforementioned matter and submit the investigations file within seven (7) days of the date hereof,” reads the DPP’s order to IG Mutyambai.

Onyonka landed in trouble after his alleged inciteful video went viral on social media.

“... Ningependa kumwambia ndugu yangu William Ruto; usijaribu kuharibu Kenya kama nchi kwa sababu unataka uongozi kwa kifua.

“Mkisii anajitafutia, mkisii amejipanga Kenya mzima. Ukigusa mkisii tutakutafuta hata wewe mahali utakuwa… wakati huu ukigusa mkisii hata mmoja hutaweza kuja hapa Kisii,” said Onyonka in the video.

Senator Mithika Linturi’s Arrest

On January 9, 2021, Meru Senator Mithika Linturi was also arrested by detectives attached to the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) following his controversial utterances at Deputy President William Ruto’s rally in Eldoret.

The Senator who was apprehended while at the Rupa Hotel in Eldoret town, Uasin Gishu County, is yet to be released after two days in police custody.

Linturi landed in trouble for using the term ‘madoadoa’ during his address at the DP Ruto rally. He later received criticism for using a term whose history is related to politically-incited 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 MP stated.

Mithika Linturi Apologises for 'Madoadoa' Utterance

Senator Linturi, on Saturday night, issued an apology statement 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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