Capital FM (Nairobi)

Kenya: 20 Suspects Arrested for Heckling Raila

Nairobi — Police in Embu have arrested 20 youths in connection to Friday's heckling at a rally addressed by CORD's presidential candidate Raila Odinga and his running mate Kalonzo Musyoka.

Embu police boss Gasper Makau said they are also investigating possible involvement of local politicians in the area who are alleged to have mobilized the youths to stone CORD supporters and disrupt the rally.

"We have identified about 50 youths who were involved in the incident.

We have arrested 20 and are looking for more. I was there and I can identify them. Some are street children," he said.

Trouble started when a group of about 500 youths who were chanting 'Jubilee! Jubilee' started pelting the CORD supporters with stones -- but they were soon restrained by police.

The group seemed to have been incensed by a pronouncement by Mwea parliamentary aspirant Bishop Daniel Njagi who said the region was not a Jubilee stronghold and accused its flag bearer of doing little for the region.

Jubilee Presidential candidate Uhuru Kenyatta has condemned the rowdy incident and urged all his supporters to always maintain peace and tolerate his competitors.

Jubilee Presidential candidate Uhuru Kenyatta has condemned the incident and warned his supporters to remain tolerant to rival candidates.

A statement from Uhuru's Director of Communications Munyori Buku reads, "Uhuru Kenyatta has called for peaceful campaigns. He also called on leaders not to incite or provoke the public with language full of hate. Mr. Kenyatta called on all Kenyans to tolerate the views of others even when they do not agree with them."

TNA's National Chairman Johnson Sakaja also termed the incident as a 'retrogressive action' which should be condemned in the strongest terms possible.

"TNA would like to dissociate itself from such retrogressive actions and in the same vein, condemn in the strongest terms any acts of violence meted out on any candidates in the course of their campaigns."

Sakaja is urging all politicans to desist from provocative language or statements likely to incite youths to violence during campaigns.

Trouble started when a group of about 500 youths who were chanting 'Jubilee! Jubilee!' started pelting the Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) supporters with stones but were soon restrained by police.

The group seemed to have been incensed by a pronouncement by Mwea parliamentary aspirant Bishop Daniel Njagi who said the region was not a Jubilee stronghold and accused its flag bearer of doing little for the region.

Some of the stones narrowly missed two helicopters which were parked in the stadium, but no injuries were reported.

Outgoing Kangundo Member of Parliament (MP) and CORD member Johnston Muthama who was also at the rally accused a rival party for hiring the unruly youth.

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