Assistant Minister Josphat Nanok who is also Turkana South MP was arrested on Friday night over remarks he made a day earlier on killing of 42 police officers. The MP was picked by police outside the Nation Centre soon after appearing on ‘The Trend’ show.
It is instructive that the MP has been arrested following the killing of police recruits by suspected Turkana militiamen who ambushed the cops in the known death trap that is Suguta Valley in Bargoi, Samburu.
Police HQS have not been able to clarify why recruits who are ill-trained and inexperienced, as well as ill-equipped were deployed to pursue armed bandits in an area that is a known death trap!
The media has increasingly distorted facts through skewed reporting and the public believes that the Turkana MPs were justifying the killing of police officers by Turkana rustlers.
Far from it and on the contrary, the MPs were questioning the rational the government wants to use in disarming one community whilst leaving the others (read Samburu) armed to the the tooth. To both the Turkana and Samburu communities, cattle rustling is a way of life.
During the show hosted by James Smart at NTV Studios, the moderator exhibited open bias shooting up to 80% of his questions to the MP while treating the police spokesman Charles Owino with kid gloves. Hon Nanon was allowed little time to respond and the moderator kept on going for breaks when it was the MP’s turn to talk.
It looks like the Nation Media Group instigated the MPs arrest by misleading him to a trap laid out by the dreaded Flying Squad officers. Mr. Smart even tweeted later after the MPs arrest that the MP would be charged with incitement to violence! How did he know this? How come the MP was not arrested before the show when he was going about his daily business? Did the Nation intend to stage-manage a scoop over other media houses and increase viewer ratings which were at an all time low last week?
The military deployment leaves more questions than answers. For instance, Turkana villagers have been repeatedly attacked and killed in their hundreds by invading bandits from Kenya and neighbouring Ethiopia, but the Government has never seen it fit to deploy military to protect Turkana citizens. The atrocities committed by the military in Mt. Elgon against civilians is still fresh in our minds.
It is not escaping our attention that the cattle rustling incident is quickly taking the TNA / ODM political fault-lines since Turkana County is known to be solidly ODM, while the Samburu region is a tug-of-war between ODM and TNA. The arrested MP is a member of the ODM Reloaded campaign group. If you visit Bargoi town, the residence know that a certain nominated MP knows more than she is saying about the ambush that led to the police massacre. That MP is TNA aligned and she is not being intimidated by police as is her Turkana counterparts.
It remains to be seen how the police will sustain a trial on basis of remarks the MPs made in parliament buildings where the law gives them immunity from prosecution against anything they say while in parliament.