Nairobi senator Mike Sonko/FILE
BY KORIR JUMA,NAIROBI,24TH MARCH 2017-Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko has apologised to people living with albinism for his utterances against Peter Kenneth.
Sonko called the former Gatanga MP Peter Kenneth an albino and a criminal in an interview on Citizen TV.
He criticised Kenneth as an unfit candidate for Nairobi governor citing matters including his lack of support for Uhuru Kenyatta in the last general election.
Speaking on Radio Citizen on Friday, the Senator said he regretted using the term to refer to Kenneth.
“Najuta na naomba msamaha kwa jamii ya albino kwa lile neno nililotumia. Nilikuwa najaribu kumfafanua yule mwenzangu…sitaki kumtaja jina,” Sonko said.
“Ningependa kusema ya kwamba pengine niliteleza kwa mdomo. Nasema pole.”
(I regret what I said and ask for forgiveness from people living with albinism for using the word. I was trying to describe him…I don’t want to name him. It was a slip of the tongue. I am sorry.)
Sonko explained tha anger drove him to use the word; he said Kenneth referred to him as a hooligan.
“Nilikuwa na hasira mno. Ati anasema mimi nikuwe deputy wake. Nawezaje kuwa deputy wake na yeye alishasema mimi ni hooligan? [Nilisikia hasira na uchungu sana],” he said.
(I was very angry. He wants me to his deputy…how can that be when he called me a hooligan? I was very angry and hurt.)
Sonko dismissed reports that he accepted to be Kenneth’s running mate in the August 8 general election.
The Sunday Standard reported that there were plans by the Jubilee fraternity to urge Sonko to agree to this.
But he said the report was the “joke of the year” and claimed it was influenced by “malicious” politicians.
“I wish to urge our supporters in Team Nairobi and Jubilee Party members to ignore such propaganda aimed at confusing voters,” he said via Facebook.
“Hussein aliniambia ‘sina mtu leo’, akasema anataka nikuje anihost,” he said.
(He told me he did not have a guest to interview and asked me to go to the station.)
Sonko’s apology came a day after KNCHR said Jubilee should discipline him for his utterances.
In a statement, the rights body said the Senator swore an oath to abide by the law but negated the spirit of national values and article 10 of the constitution.
“The contemptible reference to [Kenneth] as an albino goes beyond the basic tenets of decorum, appropriateness, and courtesy by a leader,” said KNCHR chair Kagwiria Mbogori.
Earlier in the week, Nominated MP Isaac Mwaura asked the Senator to stop using his popularity to perpetrate abuse and discrimination.
Mwaura, who is Albinism Society of Kenya national coordinator, said Sonko disrespected people living with albinism.