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Ngilu in trouble over alleged ‘incitement’ against Somali herders


Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu has found herself in trouble following the emergence of an audio clip in which she appears to be inciting residents of Kitui against Somali herders in her county.

In the clip from 2018, which has since gone viral on social media, Ngilu is heard telling Mutha residents in Kitui county that she will fund, train and arm Kamba men to face Somali herders who she accuses of encroaching on Ukambani farms.

ALLEGED INCITEMENT

The governor is further heard saying that the herders should not think that their guns are more powerful than the bows and arrows the Kambas have.

“Don’t think those guns are so powerful, I will give you money to get some and train our men on how to use a gun, bows and arrows so that we can do away with these people, there is no other option.”

Hundreds of Kitui residents have been forced to flee their homes after herders from neighbouring counties invaded their homes in search of pasture for their animals.

MPs from Northern Kenya now want Ngilu arrested for alleged incitement.

Eldas MP Adan Keynan termed the governor’s remarks as unfortunate noting they could lead to bloody ethnic clashes.

“The government must ensure that no leader incites members of the public against each other and cause anarchy. The utterances by Ngilu are unfortunate and can have serious ramifications,” Keynan tweeted on Wednesday.

The Jubilee legislator said Somalis were not second-class citizens and asked the government to protect them as drought and famine continues to bite parts of the larger North Eastern region.

CHARCOAL TRADE

The National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC), in a statement on Wednesday, also said they were aware of the clip and that it was not new, adding that they had contacted the National Police Service who are already investigating the matter.

“The investigations are in the final stages and the commission is in consultation with the Director of Public Prosecutions on the manner of concluding the case,” the statement read.

In 2018, the governor was summoned by NCIC on allegation that she incited youth to burn lorries transporting charcoal in the county.

A lorry belonging to a businessman from Kiambu torched at Kanyonyoo in Kitui while ferrying charcoal.

The incident sparked an uproar from Kiambu businessmen who termed Ngilu’s remarks as aimed at undermining a certain community doing business in Kitui.

Mrs Ngilu later denied claims that the fight on charcoal burning was targeting a particular community.

She said her sentiments were meant to protect the county’s ecosystem and improving the environment by increasing tree cover.