NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 14 – The Kofi Annan-led Kenya National Dialogue and Reconciliation team has faulted the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) for failing to successfully press for the prosecution of hate speech perpetrators.
KNDR complains that the commission has relaxed in investigating and seeking prosecutions despite increasing divisive utterances in the country.
“The failure to successfully deal with hate speech would continue to have a polarising impact and would have a debilitating effect on the elections environment if the IEBC (Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission), NCIC among other players, did not investigate and demand prosecution of perpetrators,” a KNDR report reads.
In its discussion on a report prepared by South Consulting, the team agreed that it was important for the country to clearly deal with utterances and actions likely to cause disunity to forewarn Kenyans that their action will be taken against those interfering with peace.
The report further indicated that the environment for the next General Election was becoming increasingly divisive with some politicians continuing to mobilise along ethnic lines.
It concluded that this was likely to heighten inter-community tensions and create conditions which could lead to greater forms of intolerance and violence.
During the discussions that focused on Kenya’s preparedness, election management and dispute resolution, the team agreed that it was necessary for stringent measures to be put in place to avoid a recurrence of violence witnessed in 2008.
KNDR noted that the electoral laws were insufficient to insulate the election from violence and malpractice.
The team that led Kenya to the formation of a coalition government further asked the government and the donor community to release funds intended to support the next elections.
Although the team acknowledged that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission enjoyed 80 percent trust in the country, there was discontent that the disorganisation in political parties would water down achievements made in preparing for the polls.
“The report noted that the high levels of trust in the IEBC could be eroded by the failure to enforce discipline in political practice by enforcing the law, particularly the Political Parties Act, 2011.”
KDNR was formed after 2008 to resolve the political stalemate that befell the country after the disputed presidential poll.