Court summons Senator Ole Kina over comments

Wednesday, May 20th, 2020 00:00 |
Narok County Senator Ledama ole Kina addresses a previous press conference. Photo/PD/FILE

Alphonse Mung’ahu

A Nairobi court has summoned Narok Senator Ledama ole Kina to appear in person to answer charges of ethnic contempt on comments he made in February 19 during a live TV show.

The senator is accused of making remarks that were intended to incite feelings of discrimination against non-Maasai communities living in Narok county based on their ethnicity.

When the case came up for plea taking before Milimani Senior Principal Magistrate Kennedy Cheruiyot, the prosecution applied for summons for the senator, saying he was not present in court to answer to the charges against him.

The magistrate granted the application and issued summons for Kina to appear in court on June 2.

The charge against the senator states that on February 19 appearing on Jeff Koinange Live, a Citizen TV show uttered words “that Maasai issues will be articulated by Maasais! Not Manje… Who is…who… who can be able to get an audience in Mt Kenya.”

According to the prosecution the charges against Ole Kina committed the offiences contrary to the National Cohesion and Integration Act12 of 2008.

The senator was recently elected the chair of the Senate County Public Accounts and Investment Committee which ODM had contested his removal, citing dissatisfaction with the conduct and outcome of the elections.

The prosecution says Kina’s words were “intended to incite feelings of discrimination against non-Maasai communities living in Narok county based on their ethnicity”.

In the case, the complainant is the Republic of Kenya through the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC).

The prosecution has lined up Joseph Wathigo Manje, chief investigating officer Omondi Ogola, among others as witnesses.

Manje, 57, is the MP for Kajiado North constituency, Kajiado county.

The senator early this year hit the headlines after saying the Maa community had been sidelined and their plight needed to be addressed in matters national development.

He petitioned the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) steering committee to solve the land issues in the Maasai-dominated areas such as Narok, so that the local people could maintain a steady income.

He argued that non-locals were buying land meant for agriculture and then selling the same to make huge profits.

He has business interests in the leather and construction industries.

The NCIC condemned the senator’s remarks.

“With regards to the statements made on #JKLive, the matter has come to our attention and we strongly condemn such utterances that may hinder cohesion in the country.

We urge Kenyans to maintain peace & continue engaging in the BBI process even as we look into the matter,” NCIC said.

On February 25, the senator was arrested as he left the Royal Media Services studios after an interview. He was taken to the NCIC offices for interrogation.

During the BBI forum in Narok in February, Kina said the community must stand firm to protect their land and territory.

“We are very hospitable, we have invited everybody to this meeting. We must stand firm to protect our land and territory. Are we children of a lesser god? Why have we become the target of everybody?” he posed back then.

After his arrest on Februart 25 at Royal Media offices, he was taken to Kilimani Police Station for questioning over his remarks made during a BBI rally on Saturday, February 22.

In the remarks, Kina reiterated the comments he had made on JKL a few days earlier.

NCIC chair Samuel Kobia said the senator’s comments had threatened the cohesion fabric in Narok and its environs.

“These invective and diatribe utterances have caused animosity and triggered tension among the different communities living in the county,” he said. 

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