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MP distances himself from incitement claims

29 January 2014, 11:35 Arap Yego

Trans-Nzoia - A Member of Parliament from Trans-Nzoia County has distanced himself from claims that he has been inciting communities against each other and fanning conflict at Chepchoina Settlement in his constituency, and instead dared the leaders to record statements with police if they have evidence implicating him.

Trans-Nzoia Women Representative Janet Nangabo and Kapkoi County Ward Simiyu Waswa Representative over the weekend pointed fingers at an unnamed politician who they also accused of aiding foreigners from a nearby country to be resettled in the controversial scheme.

The leaders claimed the resettlement of foreigners in the scheme had triggered tension in the area, noting that the issue was a ticking time bomb.

Speaking to journalists in Kitale,  Endebess MP Dr Robert Pukose said he was alarmed by the sentiments of the two leaders, which appeared in a section of the print media on Monday, and observed that the duo as elected leaders acted irresponsibly.

“Those are very irresponsible remarks meant to tarnish my name and create tension in my Endebess Constituency. It is laughable that they are accusing me of inciting members of different communities against each other, when they are making such kind of pronouncements in public meetings which are inciting,” said Dr Pukose.

He explained that the coming up with the names and vetting of the squatters currently being resettled in Chepchoina was done long before he was elected a legislator, and that he has not in any way interfered with the implementation of the exercise which is being done now.

“I was not an MP when the exercise to resettle persons in the scheme began. It was done during the reign of my predecessor, former Cabinet Minister Noah Wekesa who was the area lawmaker then.  It's common knowledge and even my constituents know that I was not involved in any way,” explained Dr Pukose, who asked the two leaders to focus on delivering services to those who elected them instead of  meddling in affairs of his constituency which they know little about.

“Endebess Constituency has been relatively  very calm and peaceful, and I want to appeal to leaders from the County and nearby arrears to exercise caution and stop issuing inflammatory statements. Land is a very emotive issue in the County, and they should report to authorities if they have anything tangible instead of trivializing the matter, ” he said.

Endebess Constituency borders Uganda on one side and is majorly inhabited by members of the Sabaot Community, who reside in both sides of the international border doing farming and trade.  This fact is believed to have led to a large number of the communities’ population being misconstrued as foreigners.

There are also a sizable numbers of members of the Bukusu, Pokot and Turkana people in the Constituency, with all communities being factored in at the Chepchoina resettlement.

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