Raila Apologises Over Madoadoa Remarks after being summoned by NCIC, Says his sentiments were not meant to incite or discriminate people

Raila Apologises Over Madoadoa Remarks after being summoned by NCIC, Says his sentiments were not meant to incite or discriminate people

 BY KORIR JUMA,NAIROBI,11TH MARCH,2022-Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga has defended his use of the word madoadoa during a tour of the Azimio La Umoja Movement in Wajir County on Wednesday.

The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) Party Leader who spoke on Friday hours after the National Commission and Integration Commission (NCIC) summoned him over the remarks regretted that what he meant had been taken out of context.

“In Wajir all the candidates that came were from the Azimio Movement and they said that the region is for Azimio. I stood up and lauded them and said that the region is for Azimio and therefore I did not mean that we do not want any other tribe in the region,” he said during a tour of Kisumu County.

Odinga however, was quick and apologized to those who are offended by the use of the word.

“If there is anyone who did not get me right or has seen any mistake, I want to tell them that I am so so sorry. Us we do not discriminate any Kenyan because of their tribe,” he said.

While the madoadoa phrase is often used to rally voters behind what is termed as a six-piece voting where parties urge their constituents to elect candidates in all elective posts from their outfits, it also carries a negative connotation of ethnic cleansing.

The word which evokes memories of the 2007-2008 post-election violence was recently used by Meru Senator Mithika Linturi who got arrested after using it. His case was however, subsequently dropped after the prosecution failed to prefer charges against him.

Rarieda MP Otiende Amollo who spoke earlier castigated NCIC for summoning Odinga.

Amollo said the term which was used by Odinga during a rally in Wajir on Wednesday has been taken out of context and should in no way be misconstrued to mean it was hate speech.

“I want to tell the Commission that you can say madoadoa like Linturi said in Eldoret when you are targeting people and that is hate speech. But you can say madoadoa when you want to consolidate the votes for ODM that is the language of love,” he said.

The first-term MP who once served as a Commissioner at the Samuel Kobia led Commission noted that Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) will employ the services of senior lawyers to explain to the Commission what Odinga really meant.

“Therefore, if they cannot differentiate, we are going to summon all the senior lawyers and go to NCIC and explain that to them,” he said.

In a statement, NCIC chairman Samuel Kobia stated that the body will be seeking to get an explanation from Odinga over the use of the word.

“The National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) has today summoned Prime Minister Raila Odinga in response to remarks made in his meeting in Wajir county on 9th March 2022.In his remarks, he mentioned the term ‘Madoadoa ‘which is considered a hate speech term in Kenya,” he stated.

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