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Farah Maalim denies viral video of inflammatory remarks against Kenyan Gen Z


Wednesday July 10, 2024


Kenyan MP Farah Maalim. FILE PHOTO | NMG

NAIROBI, Kenya (HOL) — Dadaab MP Farah Maalim has distanced himself from a viral video that appears to show him making inflammatory remarks against the Kenyan Gen Z movement.

The undated video, widely circulated on social media, depicts a man purported to be Maalim advocating for the use of strong-arm tactics to suppress 5,000 Gen Z protesters daily. Maalim insists the video has been manipulated and does not accurately reflect his statements.

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"It's all editing, cutting and pasting, and putting words together. It's basically a lot of nonsense," Maalim said, adding, "It is Somalis who would do that for other reasons because I also weighed in on the politics of Somalia."

During an appearance on KTN News on Tuesday morning, Maalim claimed the video was taken at a recent book launch event he attended in Somalia. He stated the manipulation distorts the sequence of his words, making it appear as though he was inciting violence against young Kenyan protesters. He explained that his comments were not directed at Kenyan protesters but were instead a general statement about the consequences of violent revolutions.

"That 5,000 figure was in line with what I said about the serious slaughter that happens whenever there is an attempt at a revolution to try to forcefully take over the government," he explained.

The video has sparked public outrage and intensified scrutiny of Maalim, who has been vocal about the tactics used by younger Kenyans to pressure the government. He has previously criticized the June 25 invasion of Parliament Buildings by protesters, describing it as an attempt to overthrow the government.

"When you occupy Statehouse and Parliament, two constitutional institutions that are a bedrock for the stability of the country and our democracy, that is a coup," Maalim said.

The recent protests by Gen Z in Kenya are rooted in economic grievances, particularly against the Finance Bill 2024. The bill, which included controversial taxes and levies affecting the youth and economically vulnerable, was a catalyst for the digital uprising. Gen Z activists have effectively used social media to educate the public, organize protests, and support injured protesters through crowdfunding. Protests were organized through social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok, with hashtags like #rejectfinancebill2024 gaining traction.

The government's heavy-handed response to the protests has included police and military intervention, which has been criticized for its brutality. Instances of police violence, abductions, and killings have been documented, fueling further unrest and calls for accountability.

Misinformation has been a significant challenge during the protests, exacerbated by government-imposed internet shutdowns and social media restrictions. Protestors have condemned these actions as violations of freedom of expression.



 





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