There are renewed political tensions in Kenya, after seven politicians were summoned by the police for hate speech and inciting violence.
Kenya’s Director of Criminal Investigations Ndegwa Muhoro said six lawmakers have already recorded statements, Kenya’s Daily Nation reported.
The arrested include the ruling Jubilee coalition MPs Moses Kuria, Ferdinand Waititu and Kimani Ngunjiri. The opposition MPs Junet Mohamed, Timothy Bosire, and Aisha Jumwa Katana are also among them.
Earlier on Tuesday, a scuffle ensued in the capital Nairobi as police tried to arrest one of the lawmakers Junet Mohammed who had been at a morning interview with a local TV.
PRESS STATEMENT. pic.twitter.com/eblgm49z5M— National Police (@NPSOfficial_KE) June 13, 2016
There have been incidences of politicians drumming up support based on tribal utterances, and fears are growing on renewed violence in the August 2017 polls, similar to the the December 2007 post-poll chaos that left 1,200 dead.
The 2017 vote for president, parliament, governors and county assemblies is expected to pit President Uhuru Kenyatta, a Kikuyu – the biggest of Kenya’s more than 40 ethnic groups, against Raila Odinga – a Luo, another major ethnic grouping.
Odinga disputed the 2007 and 2013 election results, losing the latter to Kenyatta. Since late April, he has led a series of almost weekly protests against an electoral oversight body his supporters accuse of pro-government bias. The oversight body denies this.
At least four people have been killed in the protests so far, in which demonstrators have often clashed with police.