Raila summoned to appear before NCIC over 'madoadoa' remarks

Odinga is in trouble with authorities after using tribal slur in Wajir County

Azimio La Umoja presidential candidate Raila Odinga during weekend tour of Murang'a and Nairobi County on January 29-30, 2022

Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party leader and Azimio la Umoja aspiring president Raila Odinga has been summoned to appear before the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) over the use of 'madoadoa' during a political rally.

In a statement issued on Friday, NCIC chairperson Samuel Kobia said that Odinga is wanted to explain the remarks he made on March 9, 2022 during a political rally in Wajir County.

“The National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) has today [March 11] summoned HE Rt. Honorable Prime Minister Raila Odinga in response to remarks made in his meeting in Wajir county on 9th March 2022. In his remarks, he mentioned the term ‘madoadoa’ which is considered a hate speech term in Kenya.

"The Commission wishes to assure Kenyans of its commitment to curbing any form of hate speech, to ensure Kenya remains a stable, prosperous and cohesive nation and so deliver on our promise of ‘Election bila noma'," read the summon from NCIC.

Following the former Prime Minister's rally on Tuesday, a video surfaced online where the politician used the controversial political slur, "madoadoa".

Madoadoa, a Swahili word meaning 'spots', became a derogatory term after Kenya went through the 2007/2008 post-election violence. The term had been used to incite ethnic communities to turn against members of other communities in metropolitan towns across the country.

The 11-second clip that had caused an uproar among political commentators online, has now resulted to the summoning of Odinga to appear NCIC.

Meru Senator Mithika Linturi, who belongs to Deputy President William Ruto's United Democratic Alliance (UDA), was also summoned by the NCIC in January after using the term.

"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.

On February 28, a Nakuru court ruled that Senator Linturi had no case to answer over his 'madoadoa' political remark.

In her judgment, Nakuru Chief Magistrate Ednah Nyaloti explained that the case could not proceed after the prosecution and the police failed to meet the deadlines given by the court to present evidence.

The judge further directed that a bail amount paid by the Senator should be reimbursed.

“The application by the prosecution to have the miscellaneous application closed and withdrawn is hereby allowed and the court directs that the cash bail be released to the depositor,” judge Nyaloti ruled.

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