NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 8 – “I was a addressing the youth of my constituency… they were angry, I was angry and in no way did I mean to incite anyone.”
Those were the words of Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria as he apologised over inflammatory statements he made over a week ago, saying those comments were now being misinterpreted.
“If anybody misconstrued this, if anybody thought I was inciting, I apologise…the ‘a’ is in capital (letters),” said Kuria.
The MP who addressed journalists at Parliament Buildings Wednesday said when he made the comments, he was angry at youths who had destroyed toilets and a clinic built by NYS and was in no way inciting them to wage war.
In a video clip circulating on social media, Kuria is seen telling machete-wielding youths to kill anyone opposed to the National Youth Service (NYS) projects.
“If they were being incited, unless they are very very slow to act, then they should have done that 12 days ago,” he added.
Kuria said he regretted that he was misquoted, further questioning the motive of releasing the video weeks after he made the comments.
“If it was of such magnitude, if it was so newsworthy, one would wonder where it has been the last 12 days,” he said adding, “This is just a storm in a teacup.”
Kuria said his main concern was that the youth in his constituency would degenerate to the level of the Kibera youths.
“I was worried that whatever happened in Kibera would permeate into my constituency. My worst fear was that if whatever happened in Kibera would find its way into my constituency, all the efforts I have made to empower young people would come to nothing,” he stated.
He further regretted the fact President Uhuru Kenyatta who is his constituent has been dragged into the fiasco urging Kenyans to separate his political life with that of the President.
He also accused the Opposition of capitalizing on the situation to settle political scores.
He jokingly said the machetes he made reference to were being used to slash grass and bushes in his constituency and also digging out containers of illicit brew which had been buried in the ground.
He added that he would convene a meeting with the same youths to clarify his statements at Gatundu stadium this Friday.
“I invite you (media) to come with the barometer of incitement to see if the youth were incited,” quipped Kuria.
CORD MPs led by Busia County Woman Representative Florence Mutua who previously held a briefing in Parliament called on the police to take action against Kuria saying they will take matters into their own hands if nothing is done within the next two weeks.
Social media was awash with criticism on the MP from activists, Opposition leaders and the general public who want action taken on the first-time lawmaker.
It is not the first time Kuria has rattled the public with his statements.
He is currently facing charges of hate speech following inflammatory comments he posted in a conversation on Facebook. He has since quit being active on social media.