Parliament Discusses New Law Meant to Criminalize DP Ruto’s Hustler Narrative

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Ruto and Jubilee, Hustler

Deputy President William Ruto and his allies risk being convicted to five years in prison under a new proposed law pitting hustler versus dynasty proponents.

The National Assembly Security Committee has drafted a bill that aims to punish people who propagate class division in the country with those found guilty sentenced to five years in prison or required to pay a Ksh 5 million fine.

The bill also stipulates that public officials found guilty can also be removed from office or banned from running for any political seat in subsequent elections.

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Kiambaa MP Paul Koinange said that the National Cohesion and Integration (Amendment) Bill 2021 will curb politicians from creating a class war in Kenya. The lawmaker and his team argued that the hustler narrative was a recipe for incitement and discrimination and should be listed alongside other recognised aspects such as religion, nation, race and ethnicity.

“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.

A person who utters words intended to incite feelings of contempt, hatred, hostility, violence or discrimination against any person, group or community on the basis of the social status of a person commits an offence liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding Ksh 5 million or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or both,” the drafted law reads.

Homa Bay Town MP, Peter Kaluma, a member of the security committee added that they also want to grant the National Cohesion and Integration Committee (NCIC) powers to investigate and prosecute lawbreakers.

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The MP recommended that the jail term be amended to life imprisonment rather than a five-year sentence for those found guilty of aggravated cases of incitement which may lead to deaths and displacement of people.

Ruto’s allies said that they will oppose the bill which they claimed was biased and outrageous. Mathira MP Rigathi Gachagua warned the security committee from presenting the bill for debate.

“They want to misuse the law and silence us. We are not worried at all as the constitution clearly provides situations whereby the DP can be impeached and not through the backdoor like using this bill,” Gachagua lamented.

On January 27, 2021, the NCIC noted that the narrative of dynasties and hustlers or the ‘the haves and have nots’ had been used to divide people in political scenes worldwide for a long time. NCIC said that it would be publishing names of politicians who incite and preach hatred in society.

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Ruto has crafted his 2022 election strategy on the hustler narrative – where he claims that he will empower the common mwananchi. The DP said that his politics would centre on including the people in decision making in a bottom-top approach.

On February 7, the DP refuted claims that the hustler system is associated with violence and war.

“I want to tell those opposing the narrative that they are the perpetrators of violence. They want to fund violence and later on blame the hustlers. They will be defeated.

“We do not have time for violence as we are focusing on making money and raising the economy through the hustlers. We are preaching peace,” Ruto said at a rally in Nyali, Mombasa County.

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