, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 20- The National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) has called for the arrest of the Machakos County Senator Johnston Muthama, after he failed to heed to summons over accusations of hate speech.
A statement from the hate speech watchdog said that Muthama had been summoned by the commission after uttering anti Asian sentiments.
The NCIC says Muthama made the comments last month at the Machakos AIC Church, where he allegedly asked ‘how can he appoint an Asian to run the affairs of the County?’
“The Senator’s utterances ‘…how can he appoint an Asian to run the affairs of the County…?’ are contrary to section 13(1) (a) as read with section 13(2) of the National Cohesion and Integration Act,” said the NCIC.
According to the NCIC, Muthama’s failure to heed the summon is an offence as provided under section 63(c) as read with section 63(e) of the NCI Act and calls for arrest and charging before a criminal court.
While the NCIC argued that the comment contravenes section 13 of the National Cohesion and Integration Act, Muthama’s lawyer said that the comments were made in the spirit of Article 10 of the Constitution to foster public debate on the best criteria of appointing public officials in Machakos County.
Muthama spent his day Saturday in Wote, preparing for a rally endorsing Mutula Kilonzo Jr for the Makueni County Senatorial by election.
When asked by journalists to comment on the matter, he said he wasn’t aware that the NCIC had summoned him and that the only institution that had called him for questioning was the Criminal Investigations Department (CID).
“I was summoned and appeared before the CID for accusing the government of harassing CORD officials,” he said.
He further dismissed the NCIC call maintaining that he had always cooperated with law enforcing agencies when summoned.
“I will not be intimidated by the people who keep using the term ‘hate speech’ to silence the opposition. But I will cooperate,” he said.