NAIROBI, Kenya, May 28 – The National Steering Committee on Media Monitoring on Wednesday called for immediate investigations against conflict resolution expert David Matsanga for alleged incitement.
According to the committee’s Director of Public Communication, Mary Ombara, Matsanga has allegedly been posting inciting material on social media which could inflame chaos.
“The committee wishes to issue a warning that unless drastic steps are taken now, the negative debate on social media in Kenya, which focuses on the political lineation and relationships of three main ethnic groups is so violent that it could without further warning, spark chaos in the country.”
“In this connection the committee recommends for investigations on one David Matsanga for incitement,” Ombara urged.
She further called for the arrest of seven other bloggers who have been allegedly posting obscenities and hate speech through their accounts adding that they were working with Facebook administrators to reveal the true identities of the accused.
“We have also picked out seven bloggers out of many postings this week in connection with extreme hate speech, incitement and use of obscenities.”
“These bloggers go by the names, John Mutuku, Abdul Majid Mohammed, Joseph Mwangi, Wycliffe Ojijo, Tony Lijodi, Esther Wanjala and Simon Mbugua.”
“The committee is also working with Facebook administrators to positively identify these bloggers due to their posts that are deemed as criminal and could stir political unrest,” she added.
Addressing journalists, police spokesperson Zipporah Mboroki also warned against peddling false messages of terror alerts saying that they cause needless tension in the country.
“Members of the public should desist from sending messages that alarm others. Recently we got a message about an alleged bomb at the Prestige Plaza on Ngong road and on getting there, the claims were found to be false.”
“The moment one receives these messages they should forward them to an authority in the police so that they can confirm these messages,” Mboroki advised.
The Director of Public Prosecutions last Thursday ordered investigations over hate speech against TNA political strategist Moses Kuria.
DPP Keriako Tobiko wrote to the Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo, directing him to open up the investigation against Kuria following a complaint filed by the Law Society of Kenya (LSK).
“I write therefore pursuant to Article 157(4) of the Constitution and direct that you cause speedy and thorough investigation to be conducted into the allegations contained in the aforementioned letter and upon completion of the investigation submit your report and findings to me for perusal and appropriate directions.”
The LSK singled out Kuria for allegedly uploading a series of inciteful Facebook posts targeted at a specific community.
“The posts incite the public to violence targeted at a specific community and may very well constitute hate speech, which if not curbed may plunge the country into chaos,” LSK said.
Kuria who was summoned by the National Cohesion and Integration Commission to clarify the post said he was not being malicious or tribal but was instead fighting terrorism.
“I want to state here categorically that if you are a terrorist you need to be very scared of Moses Kuria. When it comes to terrorism I have no regrets, zero regrets. I’m going to stand firm against terrorism and when I say ‘we’ I mean Kenyans.”
“When it comes to issues of cohesion I am one person who has been on the front line on promoting this commission. There is nothing wrong on that posting, if acts of terror continue in this country we have no control on what Kenyans will do, because Kenyans are angry about these matters. I was purely analysing and purely predicting. Actually I have got a battle with terrorist… I do not care which tribe they belong to.”
The Commission’s Assistant Director, Complaints, Legal and Enforcement Department, Kyalo Mwengi says the commission will open investigations on the allegations and forward recommendations to the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.