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The obvious thing everyone is pretending not to remember about the late Paul Koinange

Although it is an accepted and widely practiced African tradition that in the event of someone’s demise you only speak of his agreeable qualities and not the polarising attributes that he might have had, in the late Hon. Paul Koinange’s case, it is pretty difficult to ignore one stark reality that marked his later life.

Paul Koinange who succumbed to Covid-19 complications yesterday in a Nairobi Hospital that has, at the time of going to press, not yet been made public, was not only the member of parliament for Kiambaa, but also the chairman of the National Assembly Departmental Committee on Administration and National Security.

Nevertheless, although a lot has been said about his persona, and his dedication to duty and service, it will be hard to forget that in his later days, his desire to put a stop to the activities of tanga tanga and the DP had become somewhat of an obsession.

The National Assembly’s national security committee led by Kiambaa MP Paul Koinange had wanted the National Cohesion and Integration Act amended to include class as a basis for incitement and discrimination.

The committee even held a two-day retreat in Mombasa late last year to go through Bills that will be tabled in Parliament when it resumed in February and an amendment to the act was agreed upon.

“The NCIC (National Cohesion and Integration Commission) had requested for strengthening of the Act to make it harsher so as to deter hate speech. As part of that strengthening, incitement along class lines will come up,” Mr Koinange had said.

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“There is no difference between those inciting people along tribal lines and those doing so along class lines. The law needs to catch up with new forms of hate,” Mr Koinange had further added.

The narrative is mostly being propagated by supporters of Deputy President William Ruto who have christened themselves as hustlers to portray themselves as identifying with the downtrodden and champions of their plight.

“We have started witnessing splashes of violence based on the hustler vs dynasty narrative. It is very dangerous and can plunge the country into chaos,” Mr Koinange had said.

He warned that the narrative is likely to drive the country into civil strife and prevailed upon the DP and his supporters to desist from using it lest it boomerangs on them.

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    Written by Joshua Wanga

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