Kenyan leaders warned on hate speech

December 10, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 10 – The National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) has warned politicians currently engaged in the referendum and 2012 campaigns that hate and ethic speeches will not be tolerated.

Commissioner Fatuma Mohammed said on Thursday that NCIC was monitoring the premature campaigns and would be ready to take action against any incitements or disorderly utterances and action.

Ms Mohammed said the Commission was wary of the regional and ethnic alliances way before the 2012 polls.

“We are seeing the regrouping and it is like 2007 never happened. We are monitoring and very soon we are going to publish a report,” she said adding that the Commission was in the process of writing warning letters to the leaders engaged in the KKK (Kamba, Kikuyu and Kalenjin) alliance.

“We have told them the alliances are unacceptable. The letters will be delivered soon.”

Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka came up with the idea of the union but later said his view was more of a reconciliation mission than a political outfit.

In the last few weeks, politicians have hit the campaign trail declaring interests and strategies for the 2012 general election which is three years away. Chief Mediator Kofi Annan on Tuesday expressed concerns that the campaigns were undermining the pace of reforms in the country.

Created two months ago, the NCIC is mandated to promote equality of opportunity, good relations, harmony and peaceful co-existence between different ethnic and racial communities in Kenya and to advice the Government on all aspects thereof.

 Those liable of offences of hate speech or perpetuating inequality in any way are liable to a fine not exceeding Sh1,000,000 or an imprisonment not exceeding five years.

“Our mandate is to curb ethnicity and we are going to put policies in place to discourage the tribal alliances. We ought to look at ourselves as Kenyans and not from a specific community,” she said.

Ms Mohammed said the Commission was planning to carry out a survey of all public institutions to establish whether they meet the set standards on ethnic representation. Under the Act creating the Commission, it is unlawful to have more than a third of total employees coming from one community.

 “We are going to check right from the cleaner to the tea girl, the secretary all the way to the top,” she said. “You do not have to bring someone all the way from your village to work as a tea girl.”

The Commission also plans to carry out a baseline survey to establish the extent of ethnicity in the country.


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