BRUSSELS, Belgium, Jun 15 – Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery has denied claims that residents of Kibera, the largest informal settlement in East and Central Africa, were on Tuesday night subjected to ethnic profiling by men armed with machetes and clubs.
Nkaissery refuted the claims from Brussels where is accompanying President Uhuru Kenyatta on an official visit.
He dismissed as “lies,” social media reports that in what would be reminiscent of the 2008 post-election violence, ‘check points’ were set up to ascertain the ethnic allegiance of residents using their national identity cards in the violent reaction that followed the arrest and detention of five Coalition for Reform and Democracy (CORD) Members of Parliament on charges of hate speech.
“Nobody has asked them to show their IDs,” Nkaissery told Capital FM News in the Belgian capital.
He did however acknowledge the violence that rocked Kondele; condemning it and blaming it on the inflammatory statements of the Jubilee and CORD politicians who were arraigned on Tuesday on charges of incitement.
“They’re looking for political bonga points but we will not accept it. People are starting to attack the police like you know Kondele Police station was assaulted. One thousand stones were thrown at the police station but it’s unfortunate that the reaction has resulted in the loss of life but we’re correcting that,” he said acknowledging a lapse on their part.
Capital FM News could not immediately independently authenticate reports that there was loss of life.
Screenshots of WhatsApp conversations circulated widely on social media following the detention of the Opposition leaders created concern that events similar in nature to those that took place during the 2008 PEV were recurring.
One of those messages read: “Hey guys please pray for Kibera tonight, it has gotten worse. Guys are being told to show their IDs in order to pass. If you’re not a luo you can’t pass. I’m lucky to have gotten home through the grace of God,” an example of messages which Nkaissery has dismissed as propaganda designed to create the impression that President Kenyatta has lost control of the country.