Raila Jumps to Ruto's Rescue as MPs Propose Jail Term

  • Deputy President William Ruto (Left) and ODM leader Raila Odinga at the late Kenneth Matiba's home.
    Deputy President William Ruto (Left) and ODM leader Raila Odinga at the late Kenneth Matiba's home in 2018
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  • Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga on Wednesday, February 17, defended Deputy President William Ruto's after Members of Parliament proposed tough measures to contain the Hustler Narrative.

    The National Assembly Security Committee drafted a Bill aimed at punishing people who appear to propagate class division in the country with those found guilty sentenced to five years in prison or pay Ksh5 million fine. 

    The former Prime Minister, however, discouraged the MPs from proceeding with their plan arguing that all Kenyans should be allowed to exercise the freedom of speech.

    "I would strongly appeal to members parliament to drop any attempts to legislate against this otherwise deadly slogan.

    Deputy President William Ruto speaking to residents of Mtwapa in Kilifi on February 7, 2021
    Deputy President William Ruto speaking to residents of Mtwapa in Kilifi on February 7, 2021
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    "As a country, we fought for, and should respect free speech and association. We should be able to allow the Deputy President and his team to continue with their chosen slogan without any inhibitions. Those of us who see its dangers should continue educating our people against falling for it," noted Raila.

    He, however, noted that the slogan was dangerous in a democratic state and even likened it to the infamous Hitler era in Germany.

    "As I have explained on several occasions, the “hustlers vs dynasties” is a dangerous slogan. It is scary in its similarity to Adolf Hitler’s National Socialism, most often referred to as Nazism, the ideology of the Nazi Party, which ruled Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945.

    "Nazism profiled German society on the lines of race, social classes and tribe. It had the Aryan race, which it considered the master race, and whose survival Hitler pegged on the elimination of Jews, Romanis or Gypsies, the Indo-Aryan, the Slavs and the “inferior sub-humans” who were seen to be the problem in Germany," added Raila.

    "These ideologies caused a great deal of trauma to Germany and the world. They ended in the Holocaust," he added.

    The Bill presented by the lawmakers also stipulated that all public officials found guilty should be removed from office or banned from running for any political seat in subsequent elections. 

    Kiambaa MP Paul Koinange had stated that the National Cohesion and Integration (Amendment) Bill 2021 will curb politicians from creating a class war in Kenya.

    The lawmaker and his team argued that the hustler narrative was a recipe for incitement and discrimination and should be listed alongside other recognised aspects such as religion, nation, race and ethnicity. 

    "A person who has been dismissed or removed from office for contravention of sections  62 (1) and 62A (1) is disqualified from holding any other state or public office.

    "A person who utters words intended to incite feelings of contempt, hatred, hostility, violence or discrimination against any person, group or community on the basis of the social status of a person commits an offence liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding Ksh5 million or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or both," the drafted law read in part.

    An image of Raila
    Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga speaking at a service in St. Joachim and Anne Catholic Church, Kayole on Sunday 17 January 2021.
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