Speaking at the signing of a coalition agreement with National Assembly Speaker Justin Muturi, on Saturday, April 9, Ruto accused the NCIC of interfering with literature words that are used by young people on a daily basis.
His sentiments targetted NCIC’s inclusion of the phrase Hatupangwingwi, a campaign slogan he has been using as hate speech. The DP claimed that the word was misinterpreted.
According to the artists of the original song dubbed Sipangwingwi, the word is loosely translated to mean “I can’t be coerced”.
Ruto adopted the phrase from the song, a brainchild of artists ExRay, Trio Mio and Ssaru, and based his campaign philosophy, bottom-up, around it.
“I think it is an exercise in futility to try and tell us which Swahili or English words we should use. We are decent, intelligent and knowledgable people. We know what we are saying,” DP Ruto stated.
“To our competitors, please try and cobble together a plan and an agenda to sell to the people of Kenya. Stop wasting your time trying to re-engineer our literature. The people of Kenya know how to speak and they will speak at the ballot. Let us not involve institutions of government in a circus that will not help anyone,” he added.
Ruto is insistent on using the banned word, accusing the NCIC of being influenced by the government to deter his political mileage.
To ensure his point hit home, the DP released a remix of the song dubbed Hatupangwingwi featuring Gengetone artiste ExRay.
The song was released on Friday, April 8, an hour after NCIC listed the lexicon words it argued tend to provoke violence in society. The remix championed issues the DP promised to deliver if he assumes power in August.
Its release collided with the NCIC announcement, raising questions on whether or not the commission will act to enforce its new measures.
Politicians allied with DP Ruto chided the announcement by the NCIC noting that some of the phrases on the list were a hindrance to free speech.
Kenyans on social media also demanded answers from the NCIC over the listing and some opined that the commission was stifling creativity.