NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 10 – Moyale Member of Parliament Roba Duba was on Wednesday morning acquitted of incitement to violence charges.
The Chief Magistrate’s Court acquitted him on the grounds that there was insufficient evidence against him.
The Moyale MP had been charged together with Butiye County Ward Representative Golicha Galgalo in December last year on suspicion of making comments that provoked violence between Northern Kenya communities.
It was alleged that they committed the offence on November 29, 2013 along the Moyale-Marsabit Road at Walda location in Sololo District Marsabit County.
The prosecution alleged that the two politicians uttered words that were intended to cause violence between the Borana, Gabra and Burji communities by inciting Borana youths to loot assorted goods from a lorry.
At least 20 people were confirmed dead as of December 3, 2013 as a result of the clashes with more than 100 houses torched including that of former Moyale MP Guyo Halake.
Following the violence, the government deployed the Kenya Defence Forces in Northern Kenya to help contain it and made 32 arrests.
An estimated 70,000 Moyale residents were reported to have fled to neighbouring Ethiopia due to the conflict. Businesses, including banks were closed for several days in Moyale town at the height of the clashes.
Duba claimed on December 6, 2013 that the conflict was the result of poor governance by the county government and dismissed allegations that the violence was due to ethnic differences.
His sentiment differed from those of other local leaders such as Marsabit County Women Representative Nasra Ibrahim Ibren, Marsabit Senator Abubakar Hargura and North Horr MP Chachu Ganya, who requested mediation between communities to restore peace.