Raila, Ruto Address Senators' Arrests, Revenue Formula

  • Combination image of ODM leader Raila Odinga and Deputy President William Ruto
    ODM Party Leader Raila Odinga (left) and Deputy President William Ruto (right).
  • Deputy President William Ruto and Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leader Raila Odinga on Tuesday, August 18 condemned the arrest of three Senators a day earlier.

    In separate statements released within minutes of each other, the two leaders also gave their views on the stalemate in the Senate over the Third Basis Revenue Allocation Formula.

    Raila described the actions of state agents who arrested Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala, Bomet Senator Christopher Lang'at and Samburu Senator Steve Lelegwe as draconian, strongly condemning them.

    Ruto, on the other hand, tied it to alleged continued intimidation of leaders by investigative agencies among other state actors.

    Kakamega Senator Cleophas Malala (in blue) resists arrest at his home in Kitengela, Nairobi, on August 17, 2020.

    "The abuse of police and criminal justice to bully citizens, threaten and intimidate leaders and now blackmail senate is wrong. Very wrong. It's not the reason millions woke up early to vote for us," he wrote.

    Raila, however, also slammed a section of Senators for putting their interests first in the stalemate, accusing them off peddling divisive rhetoric pitting Kenyans against each other.

    "The twin sins of failing integrity among a section of elected representatives during this whole affair and the instinct by agents of the state to resort to strong arm measures to get things accomplished continue to hold our country back, reducing our citizens to mere watchers in dramas whose scripts are written far from public eyes.

    "Representatives of the people lose the capacity to stand up to the State when their actions are colored by considerations other than public good just like the State loses its capacity to be a force for good when it has to resort to draconian measures in pursuit of its ways," Raila stated.

    He urged the executive, in particular, to exercise tolerance in the use of force which it has at its disposal.

    The former Premier further alluded to 'warlords' whom he accused of funding Senators to push stances dividing Kenyans along cultural and regional lines. He urged Senators to tone down their stances to allow for a middle ground to be found.

    "Having pushed ourselves into deep divisions only to emerge with no formula, it is time to tone down the ethnic and regional rhetoric and diffuse the tensions that bubbled to the surface over this matter," he wrote.

    Ruto also welcomed the formation of a 12-member committee tasked with finding a consensus on the formula after a record 9 fruitless sittings.

    "The bipartisan Senate Committee to build WIN-WIN consensus is great wisdom and leadership," he wrote.

    An image of Sen. Langat and Malala
    Bomet Senator Christopher Langat (left) and his Kakamega counterpart Cleophas Malala (right) speaking to DCI officials from their homes.
    criminal abuse arrest