Meru Senator Mithika Linturi is in police custody over comments he made in Eldoret during Deputy President William Ruto’s rally on Saturday.
The Senator was arrested in an Eldoret hotel on Sunday morning following a directive by Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Haji to the Inspector General of Police Hilary Mutyambai.
Mutyambai was instructed to investigate the matter and forward the findings to the DPP’s office by January 14.
“…Watu wa Uasin Gishu musicheze na Kenya, na kile nawaomba ni kwamba madoa doa yale mulionayo hapa muweze kuondoa…’ Linturi told the Eldoret crowd on Saturday, remarks which caused uproar for what was construed as advocating for tribal segregation.
In his letter to the police boss on Saturday, DPP Haji stated: “My attention has been drawn to a video clip circulating on social media platforms portraying Mithika Linturi allegedly addressing a crowd and stating that … which utterances could incite feelings of contempt, hatred, hostility, violence or discrimination.”
“I hereby direct that you immediately institute comprehensive investigations into the said allegations and submit the resultant investigation file on or before 14 January 2021,” added Haji.
Police have transferred him to Nakuru where he is expected to record a statement.
Following his remarks, Linturi issued an apology saying his remarks were misunderstood.
“Today, while addressing the UDA rally at Eldoret, I expressed myself using words which in a certain context, have acquired sinister political overtones and come to be associated with incitement and hate speech,” stated the senator.
He added that he was wooing UDA supporters for full support in the August polls, “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,” added Linturi.
“This context did not occur to me while I was speaking,” he went on, arguing that his words were a specific reference to his Uasin Gishu county parliamentary colleagues from Uasin Gishu county who are opposed to UDA.
“I regretfully concede that my choice of words was unfortunate. I therefore apologise, unreservedly, for the discomfort they may have created,” the senator said.