, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 16 – Jubilee Presidential candidate Uhuru Kenyatta has condemned the stoning of Raila supporters at a rally in Embu on Friday.
In a statement, Uhuru says such incidents are not acceptable and urged all his supporters to always maintain peace and tolerate his competitors.
A statement from Uhuru’s Director of Communications Munyori Buku reads, “Uhuru Kenyatta has called for peaceful campaigns. He also called on leaders not to incite or provoke the public with language full of hate. Mr. Kenyatta called on all Kenyans to tolerate the views of others even when they do not agree with them.”
TNA’s National Chairman Johnson Sakaja has also termed the incident as a ‘retrogressive action’ which should be condemned in the strongest terms possible.
“TNA would like to dissociate itself from such retrogressive actions and in the same vein, condemn in the strongest terms any acts of violence meted out on any candidates in the course of their campaigns.”
Sakaja is urging all polititicans to desist from provocative language or statements likely to incite youths to violence during campaigns.
Trouble started when a group of about 500 youths who were chanting ‘Jubilee! Jubilee!’ started pelting the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) supporters with stones but were soon restrained by police.
The group seemed to have been incensed by a pronouncement by Mwea parliamentary aspirant Bishop Daniel Njagi who said the region was not a Jubilee stronghold and accused its flag bearer of doing little for the region.
Some of the stones narrowly missed two helicopters which were parked in the stadium, but no injuries were reported.
Outgoing Kangundo Member of Parliament (MP) and CORD member Johnston Muthama who was also at the rally accused a rival party for hiring the unruly youth.
“If you think you are helping your candidate by pelting us, you better know that the rest of the country is watching. It is better to listen to what we have to say then accept or ignore it,” Muthama warned.
The CORD deputy presidential candidate Kalonzo Musyoka also called on politicians to stop using youths to carry out their dirty work.
Echoing Sakaja also in a statement sent to newsrooms the CORD National Coordinating Committee chairman Franklin Bett termed the act retrogressive “because politicians have a right to campaign in any region of the country.”
“Mr. Odinga just like any other Presidential candidate in Kenya has a right to tour any part of this country to ask for votes. Such acts of violence are unacceptable in the Kenya of today and should be condemned by all and sundry,” he said.
Police led by the Embu police chief formed a buffer zone of about 200 metres between the Jubilee and CORD supporters to allow the luminaries carry on with their meeting.
Odinga successfully addressed the crowd and said he had written to the British Prime Minister urging him not to petition a case where Mau Mau fighters are seeking compensation.
“The British government has appealed the ruling and I have talked to the PM because the survivors are now very old and could die before getting justice. He wrote back telling me that we will discuss the issue soon after the March 4 elections,” he said.
He also called on teachers to shelve a planned nationwide strike until the elections are held.
“Teachers want to strike while we are nearing an election. What we have is a caretaker government because there is no Parliament which can discuss the issues,” he appealed.