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Somali MP reprimanded for insulting Kenya's opposition leader Raila Odinga

By East Africa correspondent , Garowe Online

NAIROBI, Kenya - A female legislator from the Somali community has been reprimanded for 'unholy' outbursts targeting Kenya's opposition leader Raila Odinga, Garowe Online reports.

Anab Gure, the Garissa Woman Representative, was recorded on live TV condemning Odinga over violence that marred a by-election in Nairobi on Thursday.

In a rally at Eldoret, over 600-KM West of the capital Nairobi on Saturday, Gure termed Odinga as 'uncircumcised' fellow, adding that 'they will force him to undergo the rite of passage.

"There is this old man called Baba (Raila). He's not circumcised and we shall now force him to undergo the passage," she said in reference to  Odinga.

Gure was one of the MPs who were reportedly ejected from Kibra constituency by hooligans allegedly hired by Odinga's Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party.

She was backing Jubilee candidate McDonald Mariga, who lost to ODM's Imran Okoth. Violence was reported in the parts of the constituency during the Thursday polls.

But her remarks have attracted condemnation from members of the Somali community on social media, some who have demanded an unconditional apology from her.

"We condemn and disown the reckless and disparaging remarks by Hon. Anab Subow Gure against the person of Hon. Raila Odinga. This statement doesn't represent the views of her constituents, the Somali community, and Muslims by extension. We shall revisit this," tweeted Adam Birik

"As a woman from Garissa county, I apologize to the Luo community and to the rest of the Kenyans whose leader was disrespected in public. pole Baba," added Udgoon Siad, a human rights activist.

Some insisted that the outbursts are against the norms and culture of the Muslim community, a move that could further subject Gure to further reprisals from religious leaders.

"To Women rep of Garissa county.
We are Muslim and have a responsibility to portray a good image of Islam. Our actions, character, and speech should be wholesome, not petty," said Quraish Ahmed.

"The utterance made by honorable Anab against Baba & our son junet is uncouth & against our Somali culture & decency for a woman to loudly speak about male genitalia in public .our passionate apology to baba," added Abdirashid Mohamed.

Mr Odinga, a widely respected statesman, comes from the Luo community in Western Kenya. The community did not traditionally encourage circumcision.

For the last three presidential polls, Odinga has claimed victory. After the controversial 2018 polls, President Uhuru Kenyatta was forced to reconcile with him, ending spontaneous political violence that has rocked Kenya.

In recent weeks, he has been at loggerheads with Deputy President William Ruto, in what is associated with Uhuru's 2022 succession race. The two are front-runners.

On Saturday, Ruto condemned violence in Kibra by-election which saw his candidate lose. He demanded that Odinga offers an apology to Kenyans.

“As Kenyans, we demand that Tinga, his party unconditionally, unequivocally and publicly RENOUNCE the culture of violence, chaos, terror, and gangsterism their signature modus operandi as witnessed in Kibra & unreservedly apologize to victims past and present for their hurt and loss," he said in a tweet.

But through ODM's Director of Elections and Suna East MP Junet Mohamed, Odinga dismissed Ruto's sentiments, insisting that it's the DP who glorifies violence.

"To our surprise, Ruto has neither condemned nor acknowledged the violence and death his team caused in Ganda or the chaos and voter bribery his people were captured participating in Kibra," Junet said in a statement on Sunday.

Gure is one of the close allies of Ruto from Northern Frontier Districts and she has often hosted pro-Ruto troops in her county. She's a first-term MP serving on Jubilee party, a vehicle Ruto is keen to use in 2022.


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