, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 18 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has ordered the release of six youths charged over the Migori heckling incident.
The Head of State who met Migori leaders at State House on Thursday afternoon says he has forgiven all those who were involved in the ugly incident. He said the youth in custody deserve a chance in life to be able to see opportunities the government is creating for them.
“I forgive all the young men involved in the heckling and I have asked that they be freed,” the Head of State said.
He made the remarks when he met over 500 leaders who called on him with an apology over the incident blamed on local politics. President Kenyatta says he blames leaders who are still in the Stone Age era for the ugly incident that cut short his meeting in Migori last week..
“I do not blame the people of Migori, this was caused by a few leaders who believe we are still in the Stone Age,” he said.
He pointed out that: “The disappointing thing about the Migori incident was that we were launching the largest Malaria project in Africa.”
The Head of State’s message to those who could have financed the heckling was that “we tell them we are in the 21st Century.”
He said every leader has a right to serve in any part of the country while challenging political leaders to focus more in creating job opportunities for youths in the country, who are the largest population.
On his part, Deputy President William Ruto who also attended the meeting said: “Instead of financing violence, the politicians should go for Harambee and build a church or a school.”
“We are opening a new chapter, a door of political tolerance, a space for development.”
He however commended their gesture saying, “It is very difficult for proud people to say I am sorry. Saying Sorry is not a weakness.”
Rongo Member of Parliament Dalmas Otieno also urged leaders to focus on development instead of engaging in political battles all through.
“Let us aim at production politics, count many passable bridges, completed projects and buildings and number of graduates,” he said.
Kuria East Member of Parliament Shadrack Manga said: “We are not here to apologize; we are here to thank you for facing the hecklers ‘kama mwanaume’ (like a man).”
During the incident, Migori Governor Okoth Obado was shouted down by area residents at the presence of President Kenyatta.
He was heckled and shoes thrown towards the presidential dais forcing the President to intervene.
Suna West MP Joseph Ndiege had earlier addressed the crowd in vernacular as he unsuccessfully tried to calm them down when they declined to be addressed by Obado.
Obado who is perceived to enjoy support from the ruling Jubilee Coalition has recently expressed opposition to the push for a referendum led by the CORD leader.
Drawn from the eight sub-counties in Migori, the delegation comprising county, women and youth leaders in four buses, had driven into the city at around 5am on Wednesday.