‘Master of hate speech’, Moses Kuria, says he has no apologies
“Three critical lessons and one fear that Pangani Cell 4 has instilled in me, but bottom line is you are a loser if you preoccupy yourself with hate.”
This is an excerpt of an opinion piece in the Sunday Nation by Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria in June 2016 after he was released from Pangani Police Station cells alongside other MPs after being arrested over hate speech claims.
He continues: “What is the point of you hating or fighting with the next guy because he supports Moses Kuria or Raila Odinga whereas they can easily fix a fish and Osuga lunch on the phone?
“Before you insult Otieno Jasuba on Facebook or Twitter, before you stone Kamau wa Makonia or burn his kiosk, just picture in your mind how sumptuous the fish and osuga would be.”
The Jubilee MP however appears to have backtracked on his thoughts this week as he was caught on camera at a public meeting targeting National Super Alliance (Nasa) presidential candidate Raila Odinga using unprintable words.
For the umpteenth time, the fiery legislator found himself in the middle of a storm over hateful remarks he made at a campaign rally in Kiambu.
It appears the rubble-rousing MP has always relished fighting Mr Odinga.
At the height of 2007/2008 elections, he was hauled out of a hearing during a session of the Kriegler commission of inquiry at KICC, Nairobi.
Then the Party of National Unity (PNU) programmes coordinator, Mr Kuria was asked to leave the venue on orders of Justice Johann Kriegler when he attempted to shout down an ODM supporter who was addressing the commissioners.
This week, a video on social media showed the lawmaker making vulgar utterances in Kikuyu against Mr Odinga.
And, as if to mock the authorities, the MP rhetorically told the crowd he was ready to face action because of his remarks and asked: “Who were the prisons built for? Wasn’t Mandela jailed and released? I will circumcise him.”
On Saturday, asked whether he regretted his words, Mr Kuria told the Sunday Nation: “I have no apologies, I am very mad with this man. Raila cannot go on holding this country at ransom.”
Such is the brazen manner in which Mr Kuria has been spewing hateful tirades against his perceived opponents.
His short stay at Pangani station cells appears not to have driven sense into him if the remarks he made are anything to go by.
In February, the MP was acquitted of incitement to violence charges.
The prosecution had said Mr Kuria on June 13, 2016 made remarks alluding to the physical injury and death of Mr Odinga at the Kasarani Gymnasium.
Mr Kuria’s latest remarks have elicited a barrage of criticism, with Jubilee Secretary-general Raphael Tuju disowning the statement during an interview on NTV’s Sidebar.
“I will take it up with him because it is unacceptable.
“Simple, it cannot be Jubilee policy and we cannot be put on the spot by mistakes of a few elements in the party,” Mr Tuju asserted.
It is not clear if the secretary-general did so.
In a stinging criticism of Mr Kuria, Mr Tom Alila, who was the Jubilee governor candidate for Homa Bay County, on Saturday said the MP should desist from demeaning attacks against Mr Odinga and his community and President Kenyatta should take action.
“We cannot be in Jubilee as Luos yet we are insulted. We also voted for Uhuru and Kuria should stop the diatribe,” Mr Alila demanded.
Earlier this year, Mr Kuria shared a Facebook post on the disappearance of the late IEBC ICT Manager Chris Msando.
He had posted a photo of himself beside a vehicle belonging to Mr Msando that had been found at Roysambu.
The MP further went ahead to comment on how Mr Msando, who was later found dead, was allegedly having a good time as the country was looking for him.
He called him an “idiot”.
The focus now appears to have shifted to the Francis Kaparo-led National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC).
Is it rudderless? Is the question most Kenyans appear to be asking themselves on the many times the commission says it has been investigating the MP.
Although Mr Kaparo said Mr Kuria’s latest remarks are being investigated, a majority of Kenyans wonder whether the MP is indeed untouchable.
On Friday, Mr Kaparo told reporters during a briefing that he had listened to the clip.
“But it is in a language that is not any of the two official languages in Kenya. The first thing is to have it interpreted,” Mr Kaparo said.
He added: “That matter is under active investigation and we will let you know the result as soon as we can.”
The chairperson also warned perpetrators of fake news and hate speech on social media, urging Kenyans to co-exist peacefully.
Close to 273 Kenyans, he announced, are under investigation with regard to fake news and social media hate speech.
Back to Kuria, he ends his 2016 Sunday Nation opinion article with a memorable quote:
“When life gives you lemons, make the best lemonade out of it. We, as the ‘Pangani Six’, have discovered that when we as Kenyans talk to each other, our problems are not insurmountable and our differences are much narrower than we imagine.”