Meru Senator Mithika Linturi was on Sunday morning arrested over alleged incitement remarks he made at a political rally on Saturday.
Linturi was picked from Rupa Hotel in Eldoret by detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and was driven to Nakuru where he recorded a statement.
Reports say the politician was later transferred to Nairobi and booked at Gigiri police station awaiting arraignment in court on Monday.
His arrest came hours after the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Noordin Haji directed Inspector-General of Police Hilary Mutyambai to investigate Linturi over the utterances made during Deputy President William Ruto’s rally at Eldoret Sports Club. Haji asked Mutyambai to forward the findings of the probe to his office by January 14th.
“My attention has been drawn to a video clip circulating on social media platforms portraying Mithika Linturi allegedly addressing a crowd and stating that “…Watu wa Uasin Gishu musicheze na Kenya, na kile nawaomba ni kwamba madoa doa yale mulionayo hapa muweze kuondoa…’ which utterances could incite feelings of contempt, hatred, hostility, violence or discrimination,” DPP Haji said in a letter to IG Mutyambai.
Following a public uproar, Linturi issued an apology saying his remarks were misunderstood.
“Today, while addressing the UDA rally at Eldoret, I expressed myself using words which in a certain context, have acquired sinister political overtones and come to be associated with incitement and hate speech,” he said in a statement.
“It is true that words like 'madoadoa', whilst otherwise innocent and legitimate expressions, have in certain contexts come to be understood as representing inflammatory intent. This context did not occur to me while I was speaking.”
The senator clarified that the use of these words was in specific reference to leaders who do not support UDA, “and whom I urged voters to reject in favor of UDA candidates, given that we are in a political contest, and they are our rivals.”