, NAIROBI, Kenya, April 14 – The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Keriako Tobiko has issued a stern warning to politicians involved in incitement and hate speech during rallies in the months leading up to the general elections.
Tobiko said premature campaigns by politicians have put the country at risk of violence, due to frequent rallies which see “reckless and inflammatory utterances by politicians” cause tensions between different ethnic communities.
He promised that he would take swift action in prosecuting perpetrators to ensure that the upcoming elections are held in a peaceful atmosphere where Kenyans can freely exercise their democratic right to vote.
“On behalf of the ODPP, I would like to send a strong signal that the full force of the law will be applied against any groups or individuals who are bent on causing hatred and disharmony in the country,” he said during a stakeholder’s validation workshop for the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions strategic plan 2011-2015.
Last week, Gem MP Jakoyo Midiwo was chastised by the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) after he alleged that there was a plot to assassinate Prime Minister Raila Odinga, which reportedly caused mounting tensions between the Luo and Kisii communities.
Tobiko said the ODPP aims to be an independent, professional, efficient and effective prosecution service that draws public confidence and adheres to the best international practices.
He acknowledged that this period has been characterized by increased political activity, heightened debates and premature campaigns as politicians crisscross the country to drum up support for their parties ahead of the elections, which the IEBC has set for March 4, 2013.
“As part of the law enforcement agencies, the ODPP shall discharge its mandate to ensure that the next general elections are free and fair, and that those who attempt to benefit by inciting the public are dealt with swiftly and firmly in accordance with the law,” he warned.