Meru Senator Mithika Linturi has been released on a cash bail of Ksh2 million or bond of Ksh5 million or surety of the same in a case where he was accused of making comments associated with incitement and hate speech.
However, Linturi was let go with the following conditions; he was directed not to contact witnesses to allow detectives to provide conclusive results of the investigations. He was also ordered to report to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) once every week.
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Linturi was presented before Nakuru Chief Magistrate Ednah Nyaloti on Tuesday morning, January 11 but he did not take a plea.
Magistrate Nyaloti had declined to grant an application by the prosecution seeking to detain Linturi for seven days to allow for investigations to be concluded.
“I am satisfied that the prosecution doesn’t have compelling reasons to limit the respondent’s right to liberty,” Magistrate Nyaloti said.
Linturi was arrested on Sunday, January 9 after the comments sparked public uproar and drew the attention of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji who announced in a letter to Inspector-General of Police Hilary Mutyambai that he had taken action against Linturi’s comments.
The senator was detained for two days in police custody after his madoadoa remarks in Rift Valley risked evoking dark memories of the 2007 Post-Election Violence (PEV) which had largely affected the region.
Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria led Kenyans in condemning Linturi and demanded Deputy President William Ruto to reprimand him as he was addressing the rally by the second in command’s UDA outfit.
“I am a close friend of the Deputy President. However, I am far. If you are in Eldoret and near hear tell him to rebuke this talk,” Kuria urged DP Ruto.
The madoadoa remarks were deemed by many Kenyans to be insensitive given that it is less than eight months to go to the 2022 general elections. It is loosely translated to a spot or blemish.
However, according to the commission on Inquiry on the 2007 post-election violence (PEV) it was used to profile individuals and to allegedly fuel division.
“The desire to remove “foreigners”, derogatorily referred to as “madoadoa” or “spots” from their midst. The reference was mainly towards the Kikuyu, Kisii, Luo and other communities who had found permanent residence in the Rift Valley,” read findings by the Akiwumi commission.
DP Ruto apologised to Kenyans over the remarks made by Linturi in Eldoret and urged the necessary authorities to punish those who incite Kenyans against each other as well as make remarks attributed to hate speech unconditionally.
“We want every inciter in Kenya, whether they belong to UDA or the other side, to face the law equally so that we can secure our nation,” he decried.