Ford Kenya Party Leader Moses Wetang’ula condemned the brutal attack on Joseph Kubende, terming it “cowardly, primitive, barbaric and a relic of Kenya’s sad past that should not be tolerated”.
Mr. Kubende, a celebrated artist, and author was attacked on Friday night by a group of five unknown assailants in Satellite, a suburb of Webuye Town in Bungoma County. “We condemn in the strongest terms possible an attempt on the life of a young man whose only mistake was deploying art to mock at the runaway corruption in Bungoma County,” Senator Wetang’ula said. “In the present day and age, we cannot for a second entertain the culture of seeking to silence our critics – and not especially in the manner in which Mr. Kubende was attacked,” he said. “We demand that the law enforcers move with speed to bring to book the cowards behind this savage attack and their paymasters.”
Kubende was driving home at about 9 pm when men in a Probox overtook him and blocked his Prado. Five occupants of the Probox then jumped out and charged towards Kubende’s car, broke its windscreen with crude weapons and violently dragged him out of the driver’s seat. They then tried to force him into the Probox. Talking from his hospital bed at Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret, Kubende said he resisted getting into the Probox because he knew that would be the end of him.
“It was while I resisted that I was hit hard with a metal bar on the right hand, fracturing it in the process,” he said. Kubende still managed to free himself and made a dash towards his car but his freedom was short-lived as he was grabbed from the back by one of the men who then violently twisted his neck before throwing him to the ground.Kubende was assaulted and left for dead.
Kubende is an actor, author, and singer but who only recently hit a chord with voters when he started doing campaign songs that also mocked the shameless corruption in Bungoma county. Scandals that had long been dead and forgotten like the ‘Sh109,000 non-carcinogenic and world’s most-expensive wheelbarrow are now common street talk – thanks to his engaging songs.
Threats started coming his way in February 2017 when he first stepped on a political podium and sang about everything that had gone wrong in the county. He has never stopped singing, despite receiving numerous threats. With each threat, he has made reports from Bungoma to Nairobi. In the days before his attack, unknown assailants in unmarked cars had trailed him – a fact he reported to the police and also shared with friends and family. A few hours before his attack, he shared with a friend and fellow thespian about his safety. Kubende continues to recover after the gruesome attack.