Meru County Senator Mithika Linturi has issued an apology following protests from a section of members of the public over his remarks in Eldoret on Saturday.
The ‘madoadoa’ remarks made at Eldoret Sports Club during Deputy President William Ruto rally in the region were described by some as inflammatory.
The words are linked to the 2007/08 post-election violence that left more than 1,100 people dead and 600,000 others displaced.
But in a statement on Saturday night, the lawmaker defended himself saying he had no sinister motive while uttering the words.
He claimed his speech was taken out of context adding that he was referring to politicians in the area who continue to oppose Ruto’s United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party.
“Today, while addressing the UDA rally at Eldoret, I expressed myself using words which in certain context, have acquired sinister political overtones and come to be associated with incitement and hate speech,” he said.
“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. This context did not occur to me while I was speaking.
“I must point out that my use of these words was in specific reference to our Parliamentary colleagues from Uasin Gishu County, who do not support UDA, and whom I urged voters to reject in favour of UDA candidates, given that we are in a political contest, and they are our rivals.”
Pledging peace, the Senator went on to ask for forgiveness from members of the public over the discomfort caused.
“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,” he said.
He added: “I also take this opportunity to assure all Kenyans of my commitment, both as a citizen and as a leader, to national unity, peace, and cohesion within and among all communities.”
Linturi retracted the remarks hours after the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji directed the Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai to investigate the matter.
The DPP stated that the utterances could incite contempt, hatred, hostility, violence or discrimination.
“Pursuant to Article 157 (4) of the Constitution, I hereby direct that you immediately institute comprehensive investigations into the said allegation and submit the resultant investigations file on or before 14th January, 2022,” Haji said.
The National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) has also summoned Linturi to appear before the Commission on Wednesday over the remarks.