Fred Kapondi on the spot for punching rival at a funeral - Beaking Kenya News

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Monday, 25 February 2019

Fred Kapondi on the spot for punching rival at a funeral

Fred Kapondi

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Mt Elgon MP Fred Kapondi has once again hit the headlines over distasteful actions after being caught on tape punching his political rival at a burial ceremony at the weekend.
In the video, the legislator is seen serving hot blows to a Mr Masuti Chemasuet, who is described as a close confidant of politician Evans Kiprotich at the burial of businessman Peter Chepkoech Zablon in Cheptais.
“Kazi yake ni kupiga picha hata bila ruhusa ya mtu. Mimi nilisema tafadhali usinipige nikiongea ama nikitembea nikitaka kuongea. Inakuwa ni aibu mzee mkubwa kazi yake ni kuchukua picha halafu anaweka katika social media kwa nia ya kuchafulia watu majina (All he does is taking photos without a person’s consent. I had warned him against taking my photos when I’m speaking or preparing to speak. It’s shameful for an elderly man to be taking photos to use for social media propaganda),” he said on his action against Mr Chemasuet.
The second term MP, who first served the volatile constituency of Bungoma County from 2007 to 2013, has been at loggerheads with government agencies and human rights groups over allegations of incitement to war, which he often denies.
The most recent accusations against him were in May 2018 when two suspects, who were charged in a Bungoma court with involvement in deadly Mt Elgon clashes, claimed that they were sponsored by the lawmaker.
Mr Timothy Kiptanuia Kitai, alias Chaparkach, and his brother Cleophas Ngeiywo Kitai denied 50 charges—including murder, rape and displacement of persons— but sensationally claimed that Mr Kapondi has supplied guns that were used to attack residents.
Prior to this, the MP’s name had been mentioned several times in violence-monitoring reports such as one by the Western Kenya Human Rights Watch (WKHRW) on bloodshed on the mountain near Uganda border.
In 2015, efforts by the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) to find a truce between Mr Kapondi and his political friend-turned-foe John Serut became a blame game between the two, with each party blaming the other for inciting residents to violence.
Mr Serut was area MP for two consecutive terms, between 2002-2007 and 2007-2013.
The then NCIC Chairman Francis ole Kaparo had to intervene, warning them that their rivalry was detrimental to peace efforts in the region.
But when he appeared before the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) in 2011, Mr Kapondi denied sponsoring violence or having any links with the Sabaot Land Defence Force (SLDF) that was largely involved in the crimes.
The murderous campaign of the guerrilla militia over alleged land injustice against the Sabaot people caught the attention of the Mwai Kibaki regime in 2004.
By the time it was crushed by Kenya Army, the militia had been accused of killing more than 600 people and displacing more than 66,000 others.
The fighters allied to Wycliffe Matakwei Kirui Komon also committed various atrocities against humanity— including murder, torture, rape, and the theft and destruction of property.
The SLDF was funded by unofficial ‘taxation’ of the local residents, and has implemented a parallel administration system.
At the height of constitutional referendum campaigns in 2010, Mr Kapondi was once again in the wrong side of the law when he got arrested and charged for incitement.
He denied the charge with his co-accused— former Assistant Roads Minister Wilfred Machage, who was also Kuria MP and Cherangany MP Josua Kutuny— before Chief Magistrate Gilbert Mutembei.
The four, who were opposing changes to the constitution, were alleged to have made statements seen to be inciting the public to violence during the launch of the ‘No’ secretariat.

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