President Uhuru Kenyatta has warned leaders in Laikipia county who may be planning to foment violence ahead of the August 8 election that they would be met with the full force of the law.
“Those thinking that they will incite violence, community against community, that they will cause trouble – let me tell them, they are dreaming,” the President told mourners at the funeral of veteran politician Godfrey Gitahi Kariuki, the Laikipia Senator who died two weeks ago, who was commonly known as GG Kariuki.
“It will not happen. We will not let you. You will see tough action,” the President said of politicians blamed for conflicts over grazing land, as well as attacks on private ranches in Laikipia. President Kenyatta said that individuals would also not be allowed to invade private land and destroy private property in the name of politics or protecting ethnic interests.
The President spoke as leaders at the funeral called for a meeting of leaders from Laikipia, Samburu, Turkana and Baringo to try to find a lasting solution to perennial conflicts among communities in the region.
He urged leaders and residents to use dialogue to address challenges facing the region instead of engaging in violence. Uhuru asked leaders to emulate Kariuki’s legacy by promoting peace in the county and beyond.
“GG wanted people from different communities to live together in this county in peace and that is what we will ensure it prevails,” he said. The President, who was accompanied by First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, described the late Senator as a patriot who served Laikipia county and the nation without discrimination.
President Kenyatta said Kariuki was a towering politician who mentored many upcoming leaders without fear of competition. “He was not intimidated by competition. He was keen to impart knowledge for the betterment of the country,” the President said.
Deputy President William Ruto eulogised Kariuki as a great leader and a practical politician who made huge contribution to the country’s development. “When the history of Kenya is written, it will not be complete without a paragraph on GG Kariuki.
And when the history of Laikipia county is written, it will not be complete without a chapter or two on him,” the DP said. Senate Speaker Ekwe Ethuro, National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi and Senate Majority Leader Kindiki Kithure described Kariuki as a leader who served the country with commitment and devotion.
Laikipia Governor Joshua Irungu said GG left a legacy as a peace crusader and a leader who played a big role in resettling many landless people in the county. Baringo Senator Gideon Moi said leaders from Laikipia, Samburu, Turkana and Baringo should meet and come up with a lasting solution to conflicts in the region, saying that was the best way of honouring Kariuki. GG was laid to rest at his Rumuruti home in Laikipia county.