A section of women in Kitengela town on Thursday morning took to the streets to protest against unsavory remarks directed at President Uhuru Kenyatta and the former First Lady Mama Ngina Kenyatta.
The women said Emurua Dikir legislator Johana Ng’eno and his Kapseret counterpart Oscar Sudi had crossed the line and should apologize to the first family immediately for the insults and disrespectful language they used against the first family.
Normal business operations came to a standstill as the protestors marched along the busy streets of Kitengela town causing a traffic snarl-up while holding placards and twigs.
The visibly angry women said the remarks against Mama Ngina Kenyatta were unacceptable and an insult to all women in Kenya.
Regina Ndung’e, one of the protesters, said the utterances made by the legislators were of utmost disrespect to a person of Mama Ngina’s stature and demanded for the arrest of Sudi or his immediate resignation.
“It is very disrespectful and un-African for a man to insult a woman who is the age of his mother. We demand for Sudi and Ng’eno to apologize immediately to the first family and all women in Kenya or resign,” said Ndung’e.
Ndung’e called for the arrest of Sudi adding that his remarks were very demeaning and as a leader he should be on the forefront in uniting Kenyans and not trading insults.
Sarah Wanjiku reiterated Ndunge’s remarks adding that a man who insults women should not be given a leadership position.
Wanjiku said the two legislators should refrain from insults and abusive language which could whip up ethnic emotions and tension that could lead to political violence as the 2022 general elections approaches.
She noted that women and children are the most affected when political violence erupts and all politicians polarizing the country along ethnic lines should be arrested and charged.
“The public insults against the former first lady could whip up ethnic animosity among communities who have co-existed peacefully for years. We demand an unreserved apology from the two MPs as insulting Mama Ngina is like insulting all mothers in Kenya” said Wanjiku.
Alphonce Ochieng’, a resident of Noonkopir in Kitengela, said he had decided to join the women to demonstrate as the legislators had crossed the red line by insulting Kenyan mothers.
He said the MPs’ remarks were demeaning to mothers and if they want to trade jabs they should pick their fellow men to fight with and leave women out of it.
Ochieng’ said the first family deserves utmost respect and Mama Ngina should not be drawn into public spats by politicians as she is currently not in active politics.
“How can a whole MP insult a former first lady? This is unheard of, if the politician wants a fight he should pick on his fellow men and leave Mama Ngina the founding mother of the nation alone,” said Ochieng’.
The remarks from the two legislators have sparked countrywide uproar with leaders across the political divide joining in to condemn the utterances and demand for an apology.
ODM leader Raila Odinga castigated leaders using inflammatory language that could whip up emotions, likening this to beating the drums of war.
“Beating the drums of war will not work. I appeal to these leaders to stand for a united Kenya and tell off those people who issue threats against fellow Kenyans,” said Raila, who was addressing the Press after a meeting with Maasai leaders from Kajiado County.
Amani National Congress party leader Musalia Mudavadi called on Kenyans to reject politics of division which he said may trigger ethnic violence.
Wiper party leader Kalonzo Musyoka said it was shocking that the two legislators in their zeal to score political points chose to go for the first former first lady’s jugular.
He added that the utterances were obscene, unwarranted and totally uncalled for and deserved condemnation from all right thinking Kenyans.
Deputy President William Ruto distanced himself from the utterances made by the two leaders saying that “no amount of anger justifies the use of insulting language” to the president. He said leaders should exercise restraint and avoid insults and bad language against other Kenyans.
The Emurua Dikir legislator was accused of making offensive remarks against the president and his family during a visit to his constituency on Sunday.
He was arrested on Monday evening and charged with hate speech contrary to section 13(1) of the National Cohesion and Integration Act, 2008 and breach of peace contrary to section 94 of the Penal Code.
By Rop Janet