Garissa Township MP Aden Duale has reacted to a viral video showing him blocking Kilifi gubernatorial aspirant George Kithi from the podium at a press conference hosted by Deputy President William Ruto in Karen, Nairobi.
The video was taken on Tuesday, shortly after Pamoja African Alliance (PAA) party leader Amason Kingi defected to Ruto’s Kenya Kwanza camp from the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition Party.
The 16-second video shows Kithi, a lawyer by profession, making his way to the main podium where Ruto was preparing to address the press.
The aspirant tries to find himself a spot between his party leader — Kingi — and Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi before the former National Assembly majority leader physically blocks him.
Duale is seen pushing Kithi away, relegating him to the periphery, as senior politicians who flanked Ruto and Kingi look on. Some of them included Ford Kenya boss Moses Wetang’ula and National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi.
When Faruok kibet is on leave..Aden Duale is harrassing other Principals🤣🤣🤣🤣 pic.twitter.com/Y6ckN4oFcV
— Abdulahi Adan (@AbdulahiAdan10) May 10, 2022
The video sparked a debate on social media, with a section of netizens accusing Duale of demeaning and humiliating the politician.
But reacting to the video on Wednesday, Duale said he didn’t know who Kithi was and that he only reacted the way he did to avert a security breach.
“I did not know who he was and why he trying to stand between the Deputy President and Musalia Mudavadi, I was following protocol,” he told Citizen Digital.
“It was a security issue and I tried to intervene before the DP’s security came and removed him.” he recalls.”
According to the close confidant of the DP, Kithi ran late to the meeting and was not introduced to members present.
“Before the press conference, everyone had been introduced in the boardroom and Kithi was not there as he came late and so we did not know who he was,” the legislator added.
Kithi is seeking to contest for the Kilifi governor seat on a PAA ticket.
Also eyeing the seat is Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa of Ruto’s United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party. The lawmaker was standing behind the country’s second in command during the televised presser.
Sources close to the Kenya Kwanza principals indicate there are plans to have Kithi drop his bid in favour of Jumwa in the wake of the latest political realignments.