One of the musicians behind the infamous ‘Ikamba’ song was charged on Monday 12 th March, 2018 at Milimani Law Courts in Nairobi City County with three counts of ethnic contempt.
Artist John Gichiri denied the charges before Milimani Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi, over the song that authorities say was aimed at stirring hatred and enmity between the Kamba and Kikuyu communities that over the last years have been living peacefully .
The court heard that lines in the Kikuyu song translate to: “Be cursed, mangoes are getting finished. It’s a matter of time before you start eating termites. Be cursed, it’s a matter of time before you start eating birds. Kamba land is a place of starvation. We stop buying charcoal you die. [If] you want to see a Kamba just go where there are tyres. Hard jobs are theirs.”
The musician was bonded by the National Cohesion and Integration Commission ,NCIC which is Chaired by the former Speaker of the National Assembly Hon. Francis Oke Kaparo ahead of today’s arraignment at Milimani Law Courts. The song is said to be offensive and distasteful and to castigate Kitui Governor Charity Ngilu, who imposed a ban on trade in charcoal to conserve the environment.
After the governor outlawed the sand harvesting and commercial charcoal burning in her county by the outsiders,perceptions emerged that she was targeting a particular community in Kenya.Her move led to massive demonstrations in different parts of the country .The demonstrators argued that they were not involved before the move was taken to barr charcoal trading in Kitui County.