The leader of Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) Raila Odinga has opposed proposed legislation against “hustler” narrative — a campaign mantra propagated by Deputy President William Ruto and his allies.
National Assembly Security Committee led by Kiambaa MP Paul Koinange is behind the National Cohesion and Integration (Amendment) Bill 2021, which seeks to impose stringent measures against those who propagate the ”hustlers versus dynasties” narrative.
The proposed Bill states that anyone who incites Kenyans along the ”hustlers versus dynasties” split could be imprisoned for five years or pay a fine of Sh5 million.
“A person who has been dismissed or removed from office for contravention of sections 62(1) and 62A(1) is disqualified from holding any other State or Public Office,” the proposed Bill states.
In a statement on Wednesday, Mr Odinga said that whereas the “hustlers vs dynasties” slogan is dangerous, he does not support plans to legislate against it.
“As I have explained on several occasions, “hustlers vs dynasties” is a dangerous slogan. However, I would strongly appeal to Members of Parliament to drop any attempts to legislate against this otherwise deadly slogan,” Mr Odinga said.
He said the slogan is, however, scary in its similarity to Adolf Hitler’s national socialism, “most often referred to as Nazism, the ideology of the Nazi Party, which ruled Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945.”
“Nazism profiled German society on the lines of race, social classes and tribe. It had the Aryan race, which it considered the master race, and whose survival Hitler pegged on the elimination of Jews, Romanis or Gypsies, the Indo-Aryan, the Slavs and the ‘inferior sub-humans’ who were seen to be the problem in Germany,” Mr Odinga said.
The ideologies, he noted, caused a great deal of trauma to Germany and the world.
“They ended in the Holocaust. I fear the “hustlers vs dynasties” narrative will have the same deadly consequences for Kenya as Nazism had for Germany. But, as a country, we fought for and should respect free speech and association,” the ODM leader said.
He said the Deputy President and his team should be allowed to continue with their chosen slogan without any inhibitions.
“Those of us who see its dangers should continue educating our people against falling for it. I have faith that Kenyans will see through this divisive and potentially deadly rhetoric and its attacks on fellow Kenyans, and reject it in the end,” said Mr Odinga.