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I have no apologies to make, the truth must be spoken: Raila

Opposition leader Raila Odinga shopping at an Uchumi supermarket on Sunday/COURTESY

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 19 – Opposition leader Raila Odinga on Monday, through his party Secretary General Agnes Zani, made it clear that he has no apologies to make over remarks he made while campaigning in Kajiado on Thursday.

Raila who has been accused of spewing hate speech for urging the Maa community to not to sell off their ancestral property while acknowledging what was lost to them through historical injustices as captured in the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation report, defended his sentiments as truth.

“The TJRC report clearly indicated how these communities would have their historical injustices addressed. Its recommendations have not been implemented during this term,” Zani stated in a press release.

Odinga’s statements, Zani stated in defence of her party leader, were made with the social and economic empowerment of the community in mind. “No amount of twisting words will negate this noble intention. Many other communities including those in the Coast need empowerment, something the Jubilee government has not been able to do.”

Nominated Senator Elizabeth Ongoro on Monday morning also came out in defence of her former party leader and preferred presidential candidate accusing the ruling party of seeking to sanitise its own reckless remarks by crucifying Odinga; their leader of the majority in the National Assembly Adan Duale having called for Raila’s arrest on Sunday.

“The hypocrisy is astounding. Isn’t Duale the very same one who urged his constituents to eject Kambas? Has the Presidency ever taken any action against him despite shouting from the rooftops that they will not stand for hate speech in their ranks?”

The remarks made by Odinga on Thursday are not the only ones that have attracted criticism.

A week ago, The Times of London quoted him as stating: “These ranches (in Laikipia) are too big and the people don’t even live there; they live in Europe and only come once in a while… There’s a need for rationalisation to ensure that there’s more productive use of that land.”

A statement that has attracted the strong condemnation of the Laikipia Farmers Association and Laikipia Governor Joshua Irungu.

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