Igathe sets record straight over his remarks on Somali community
Nairobi gubernatorial hopeful Polycarp Igathe has dismissed allegations of negatively profiling the Somali community.
On Friday, June 24, the Jubilee candidate claimed that three Somalis held a section of the Nairobi Ward Representatives captive.
In a press statement on Sunday, June 26, Igathe defended his comments saying they only meant to highlight the inequalities witnessed in the capital.
“I wish to respond to these genuine concerns by clarifying that my comments were not focused and should not be understood to be about individuals but equitability of access and opportunities for work and economic benefit in the City of Nairobi.
“These comments were signaling and echoing sentiments his campaign has heard from small traders, the business community, service providers, and city citizens. These include sentiments from the Somali community,” Igathe said.
The Jubilee Party Nairobi gubernatorial candidate apologized to those who found his remarks demeaning.
“I would like to say that if the broader Somali community or anyone was hurt or inadvertently offended by comments made in the context of engagements on the campaign trail, I am sorry for any such offense or hurt,” he added.
In his remarks, Igathe claimed that MCAs from the Kikuyu community were being held captive by three Somalis indirectly controlling the city-county assembly.
“Nairobi has 45 MCAs, who is Kikuyu. I can tell you they are all controlled by three Somalis. That is a fact. The capture is too serious. Even yesterday, they were doing completely illegal and illicit things,” Igathe said while addressing a section of the Kenya Private Sector Alliance members.
Igathe’s remarks attracted a lot of condemnation from a section of Somali leaders who accused him of negatively profiling the Somali community ahead of the August election.
Garissa Township MP Aden Duale took to Twitter blasting the banker-turned politician for playing tribal cards.
“The City-County of Nairobi belongs to all Kenyans. It’s not a preserve of the few. Nairobians deserve a visionary leader who will restore its former glory, not a tribal bigot and merchant of division. After the outrageous publicity stunts flopped, he has resorted to the tribal card,” Aden Duale said.
Lawyer Ahmednassir Abdullahi tweeted: “So Polycarp Igathe genuinely believes a Somali cartel of 4 men controls 45 Kikuyu MCAs in Nairobi. And why is an aspiring Governor of Nairobi instigating a civil war between the brotherly communities of Kikuyu and Somali?”