By Suleiman Hassan and the People’s Daily.
Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwale has sensationally claimed that employment of what he called “disproportionate numbers” of Somali youth by the Parliamentary service commission was exposing the August house to terror threats.
Pointing an accusing finger at his Muslim colleagues and two members of the Parliamentary Service Commission (PSC), the bull fighter, as he likes to be referred to, claims that the two commissioners, Eldas MP Aden Keynan and former Wajir North MP, Dr. Abdulahi Ali, have been recruiting Somali youth to work in Parliament in the past few years, an issue he says raises eye brows.
He made the accusations on Tuesday during a motion of adjournment to discuss security issues.
Khalwale also took issue with two senators whom he claimed are suspected to be funding terrorism activities and asked them to set the record straight on the floor.
He, however, did not mention names, but when challenged to do so by the Deputy Speaker Kembi Gitura to substantiate his claims, he undertook to table the PSC list yesterday but failed to show up. He could be sanctioned by the Senate if he does not substantiate the claims or table evidence as he promised.
The Kakamega Senator also wants leaders from North Eastern region and those from the Muslim community at large to be taken to task over radicalisation.
“In the National Assembly, the Leader of Majority has been tasked to explain his remarks that he be given time to release names of al-shabaab sympathizers, we should follow suit and compel senators linked to al-shabaab activities, to set the record straight,” he said.
The remarks angered senators from the Muslim community who yesterday wanted the matter discussed on the floor.
Led by Deputy Leader of Minority and Wajir Senator Hon. Abdirahim Hassan, the leaders accused Khalwale of abusing his parliamentary privileges and immunities.
In a quick rejoinder, Mandera Senator Hon. Billow Kerrow said that Khalwale should be compelled to substantiate his claims or face sanctions as the claims he made touch on individual leaders.
Outside parliamentary corridors, Khalwale’s remarks have also angered members of the Somali community who termed it hate speech meant to incite Kenyans against each other.
“Khalwale easily shows that he is a political dimwit. A purveyor of ethnic hatred and a tribal bigot” tweeted Senior Counsel Ahmednassir Abdullahi.
The hashtag #arrestKhalwale has been trending on twitter.
Some reminded him that Somalis were here to stay while as it seems, his outburst will cost his CORD coalition the Somali vote come the next elections.