DPP lines up more hate speech charges against MPs

Kamau denies the claims and says he does not know what he is specifically accused of/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 12 – The Director of Public Prosecutions has given the go ahead for the prosecution of Cabinet Minister Jamleck Kamau and lawmaker Peter Mwathi for alleged hate speech.

The DPP in a statement issued on Sunday however said he did not find sufficient evidence to warrant charges against Makadara MP Gidion Mbuvi alias Sonko.

“The DPP has approved the prosecution of Cabinet Minister Jamleck Kamau and Limuru MP Peter Mwathi as recommended by the NCIC (National Cohesion and Integration Commission) for hate speech. The DPP has however rejected charges against Makadara MP Gidion Mbuvi as the evidence provided did not implicate him,” a brief statement from his office said.

Kamau later called a news conference where he defended himself against the accusations.

The Nairobi Metropolitan Development Minister said he was blameless, and was not even aware what he was specifically being accused of.

“One clear thing that I have in my mind is that every statement that I made out there, without any question, is not incitement. In fact, I am looking forward to see what I am being charged of so that I can correct whatever I said. But I am sure there is no one single day I went public on something that can be attributed to hate speech.”

The minister however added that he was ready to cooperate with the court, and even resign if he is called to.

“On the issue of stepping aside, I will with no doubts follow the law the way it is. If the law dictates that I have to do that, then I will have to. But I know in my mind that I am innocent and in the end I will be proved right, “added the minister.

Kamau who is the MP for Kigumo is said to have made hate speech at one of the many “prayer” meetings early this year that were being held for Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta.

Mwathi on the other hand was in February this year alleged to have said that people from Kenyatta’s community who failed to support his presidential bid will be shunned.

But he later defended himself stating that he only said that all leaders in Central Kenya should agree to support Kenyatta as he was ahead of other leaders in terms of popularity.

But there was confusion on Sunday evening after NCIC chairman Mzalendo Kibunjia said that the commission had recommended the prosecution of Mbuvi and Mwathi and not minister Kamau.

“It’s true we were investigating the three over hate speech but I don’t remember recommending the prosecution of the minister. We recommended prosecution of Sonko and Mwathi. I wish the DPP could have issued the statement on a weekday for us to confirm such doubts. Let’s wait until tomorrow… maybe he confused the files,” Kibunjia said in a brief statement.

The files of the two have been sent to the Criminal Investigations Department which is expected to arraign them in court after seeking the necessary warrants.

Environment Minister Chirau Mwakwere is also expected to face similar charges this week after the DPP gave the okay for him to appear in court.

He was due in court last week but no summons had been issued to him. He is now expected in court on Wednesday even though he is fighting the charges in the High Court.

MARGARET WAHITO

MARGARET WAHITO

Margaret has been a business reporter for the past four years. She holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Communications and Public Relations from Moi University. She also holds a diploma in Film and Video production from the Kenya institute of Mass Communications. Apart from journalism, she has interest in community work, especially helping the disadvantaged.