Duale defends Somalis after cops seize sugar in Eastleigh
National Assembly Majority leader Aden Duale on Friday dismissed assertions that the Somali and Muslim communities use ill-gotten cash to start businesses in the city.
He said Muslims, especially the Somalis, have been condemned and negatively profiled because of their increased investment within the Central Business District.
“We have no apology to make to anyone. Like any other community in Kenya, we have a right under the Constitution to own businesses,” Duale said at Sir Ali Muslim Club grounds in Kariokor.
The Muslim and Somali communities say they have been victimised on social media. They are accused of taking over the city centre and Westlands through large businesses and restaurants.
Duale said everyone is entitled to own a business as long as it is legal. “We’ve not taken over anyone’s business. We’ll continue to own businesses up to State House,” he said.
The Garissa Township MP said they are hardworking and also own ventures in Tanzania and Uganda.
“If your community is not hardworking, don’t condemn those who are,” he said.
He said religion or ethnic backgrounds should not be used to discriminate against individuals. “Let those who pretend and want to profile our community know that Muslims have many days to live,” Duale said.
“We’re not living in the old days. It is 2018 under Constitution. These communities are in good terms with President Uhuru Kenyatta.”
On Thursday, the police seized more than 3,000 bags of sugar from Eastleigh. Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i said the goods contained mercury and warned importers that they would be arrested and prosecuted.
Another 1,600 bags of sugar were also seized on Mombasa Road the same day while in transit to the same estate.
Eastleigh is known for being the centre of business owned and run by Muslims, especially those from the Somali community.
Duale said communities that profess the Islamic faith are at the forefront in making sure the war on corruption succeeds. Islam does not accept illegal accumulation of wealth and members support lifestyle audits of public officers, he said.
On Thursday, President Uhuru Kenyatta called for a lifestyle audit for all public servants — starting with him and Deputy President William Ruto. Duale urged religious leaders to join the graft war so the country can end the scourge.
“Every religion has bad people. We should all bring them out to the public so they face the law,” he said.
The legislator urged the government not to relent in its push to ensure Kenya becomes a corruption-free country.