Meru Senator Mithika Linturi has withdrawn an apology he issued following his comments during Deputy President William Ruto’s rally in Eldoret that some quarters deemed reckless.
While addressing the press on the evening of Sunday, January 9, his lawyer Elias Mutuma argued that the use of the term ‘madoadoa‘ had not been outlawed in the constitution.
He further maintained that his client did nothing wrong and that the state targeted him due to his political leaning.
Mutuma explained that Linturi’s comments were taken out of context and that he was trying to unite the people of Uasin Gishu contrary to the outrage.
“The use of the word madoadoa has not been criminalised in this country. It has not been outlawed. It does not appear in any of our penal codes or any other written law. It is therefore wrong for anyone to use that as a criminal offence.
“What he was urging the people of Eldoret was to unite them and to ask them to vote as a block just as we have seen the other parts of this country,” he explained.
Linturi further explained that he had intended to urge Uasin Gishu residents to vote as a block and support the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party.
“Anyone that really understands that it was a UDA rally and what I meant was that those people that are not followers of UDA should be rejected by the Uasin Gishu voters,” he noted.
This comes despite praise from the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) commissioner Danvas Makori.
In a TV interview, Makori commended Linturi for issuing an apology on his own volition but maintained that the damage was already done and justice should take its course.
“If words incite, also words can heal. The same person who incites is the same person who needs to tell his people to stand down. That’s why apologies are important and he did it in his own volition.
“Usually they come, we do a segment with them then they issue an apology. The day it happened, he actually did it (apologised) and I commend him but I agree the damage is done and that is where the contention is. In communication, it is not what you said, it is what was understood that matters,” stated Makori.
Linturi, who was arrested on Sunday, was transferred to Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) for interrogations and is expected to be arraigned in court.
The Senator’s utterances drew sharp criticism from various political leaders and Kenyans who pointed out that the remarks could instigate violence ahead of the 2022 General Election.