, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 27 – The government on Wednesday warned politicians and bloggers from using language that may spew hatred among their supporters.
Police Spokesman Charles Owino said instead politicians should urge their supporters to stay calm and peaceful as they await the verdict of the petition filed by Prime Minister Raila Odinga disputing election results following the declaration of Uhuru Kenyatta as the winner.
Owino asked Kenyans to accept the Supreme Court verdict on the petition without prejudicing the rights of others.
“We are appealing to all Kenyans who are understanding to follow the law. The law is there to guide us; let’s accept the verdict in a way that shall not prejudice the rights of others. If we are celebrating or crying, let it be in an orderly manner,” Owino appealed .
He further urged those forming groupings outside the court to stop so as to allow the process run smoothly. The widely awaited ruling, is set to be issued on Saturday by the Supreme Court judges led by Chief Justice Willy Mutunga.
“We have issued an order stopping groupings in public and outside the court as we feel this is not the right time. Let those who feel we have deprived of their right to assemble, challenge us in the court of law instead of shouting along the streets. They should use the right channel to pass their issues, that’s our humble appeal,” he said.
Mary Ombara who is the Director of Public Communications and Secretary to National Steering Committee on Media monitoring said six bloggers had been arrested on Tuesday after allegedly mentioning specific names with specific allegations.
“We are closing in on more bloggers and we expect more arrests to be made before the close of this week,” Ombara revealed.
The vernacular stations were also warned against using language that was abusive to other communities.
“We have noted the tendency to post items on radio websites which border on hate speech. These are written in vernacular languages that are abusive of other communities that speak different languages,” Ombara said.
She pleaded with them to avoid a repeat of 2007 that led to post election violence.
“We are witnessing the ghost of 2007 attempting to rise again in a different and unregulated forum,” Ombara lamented.
Ombara said it was unrealistic to prosecute the huge number of individuals sending hate speech messages but added the NCIC was making proposals for automatic fine for such offenders but added it needed certain legalities in place.