State House Secretary of Digital and Innovations Dennis Itumbi has dragged the name of former Prime Minister Raila Odinga in his spirited defence of detained Witeithie MCA Julius Macharia who was arrested for driving a vehicle branded with a national emblem.
Macharia’s minivan had been pimped complete with a flag and a photo of Deputy President William Ruto photoshopped in full military fatigue. Police say he implied that the DP was the commander-in-chief of the armed forces.
But Itumbi has now defended Macharia’s usage of the national emblems citing the use of the coat of arms during the mock swearing in of Mr Odinga after the 2017 election, saying the “illegality” was ignored. Macharia was on Tuesday detained for five days by a Thika court.
“A proud display of the Coat of Arms by a creative & patriotic Kenyan and the illegal use of the Coat of Arms by Raila Odinga & Co. Police arrested the one who dreams of William Samoei Ruto as the President someday. But not the man who declared himself President,” he wrote.
REVIEW THE ACT
Itumbi went on to tag Kiharu MP Ndindi Nyoro urging him kick start a review of the Flag and Emblem Act under which Macharia has been charged.
Section 3(a) of the National Flag, Emblems and Names Act bars members of the public from using the Kenyan flag and other government imagery unless given the go-ahead by the Interior ministry.
“No person shall, except with the written permission of the Minister … use any specified emblem, specified name or specified likeness, or any colourable imitation thereof, in furtherance of, or display the same as an advertisement for, any trade, business, calling or profession,” reads the section.
“You arrest me because of having a certain photo or displaying likeness of a flag…The law seems to say the offence is actually using the two as an Advertisement. As for ‘misusing the picture of William Ruto’ is the complainant the State? Some of these things are farfetched and do not deserve time on the dock,” wrote Itumbi.
He went on to question whether Kenyan branded wrist bands ad t-shirt will also become illegal to wear adding that a review of the Act was needed to promote patriotism.