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Ruto, Raila clash over land debate

Addressing a rally in Kakamega’s Bukhungu Stadium, Ruto said the comments are likely to spark violence/PSCU

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 17 – Deputy President William Ruto has once again renewed criticism of NASA Presidential candidate Raila Odinga for allegedly inciting Kenyans on land matters.

Addressing a rally in Kakamega’s Bukhungu Stadium, Ruto said the comments are likely to spark violence.

He said Kenya must move forward as a united nation and not be allowed to fall back into the hands of the abyss of violence.

The Deputy President cautioned Kakamega residents that Odinga is treading the same path that led to the 2007/2008 post election violence.

“I want to tell our competitors in CORD that such utterances have no place in modern day politics; our aim in bring together 10 political parties under Jubilee is because we want to unite Kenyans by fostering peace and harmony among all the communities living in Kenya,” he said.

But speaking during a campaign stop in Mikinduri, Meru County, Odinga has come out to defend himself against claims that he made inciting remarks.

The former Prime Minister said that remarks he made on Thursday were taken out of context saying that he was only discouraging Kajiado residents from selling their ancestral land.

Odinga said he had asked the residents to protect their lands and not sell them to ‘outsiders’.

“There those who are saying that Raila said people must go back to where they came from, I only said that people are being forced to sell their ancestral land because of poverty; I said we will eradicate poverty so that you can keep your land with you and you don’t cry foul later on…let the buyers remain at their places of origin,” Odinga told Meru residents.

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Jubilee Party’s onslaught on Odinga came two days after similar sentiments were expressed by the Laikipia Farmers’ Association (LFA) who expressed concern over the opposition leader’s frequent remarks that could ignite violence.

The UK Times on Monday quoted the leader of the National Super Alliance (NASA) as having said, “These ranches 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 a rationalization to ensure that there’s more productive use of that land.”

The remarks come as the Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko, ordered a probe over the alleged hate speech and incitement to violence allegations.

Tobiko says his office, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) have started a joint probe and a report on the investigations is expected to be out next week.


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