The Star (Nairobi)

24 November 2012

Kenya: Ntimama Defends His Remarks On Narok North Immigrants

HERITAGE Minister William ole Ntimama yesterday defended himself over remarks that the immigrants in Narok North district should seek voters card in their place of birth.

Ntimama said what he meant is that IEBC should ensure that there is no importation of voters from other regions to Narok. The minister allgedely made the remarks on Monday after he registered as voter at Masikonde Primary School in Narok.

Speaking to the Star yesterday, the minister his statement should be taken to mean he was inciting anyone. "What I meant is that there are some politicians who want to ascend to power by importing people to Narok because the constitution requires each presidential aspirant to have 25 per cent in every county," said Ntimama.

On Thursday, National Cohesion and Integration Commission chairman Mzalendo Kibunjia warned Ntimama of such utterances, saying they may cause animosity among the tribes living in Narok.

Speaking to Inooro FM, Kibunjia said his commission will soon probe the matter and if Ntimama is found to be guilty, stern action will be taken against him.

"The prosecution against hate speech is a elaborate process that requires thorough investigation and concrete evidence for one to be convicted," said Kibunjia.

Religious leaders across the country urged Ntimama to publicly apologise to Kenyans for the remarks. Led by Anglican Church of Kenya retired Archbishop Benjamin Nzimbi, the clergy said the minister should withdraw the statement immediately and urged NCIC to take action.

Nzimbi said the constitution is clear that every Kenyan can live anywhere he or she wants. The clergy added it is unfortunate for a respected leader like him to utter such remarks that are likely to cause disunity as the country heads into the general election.

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