NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 12 – Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria has agreed to offer a public apology over hate speech remarks on social media.
The MP has also pledged to be engaged in national peace efforts spearheaded by the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC).
“My intention is not to create disunity. I stand for cohesion, I stand to have one indivisible Kenya and therefore to the extent that I attributed terrorism to specific communities or religions or tribes, I regret and apologise,” Kuria told a news conference after a meeting with the NCIC officials and the Law Society of Kenya on Monday.
The LSK had written a complaint over remarks made in April and asked the Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko and then Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo to investigate and prosecute Kuria. The NCIC forwarded a file to Tobiko on May 30 recommending Kuria’s prosecution.
NCIC’s Legal and Complaints Committee Chairman Morris Dzoro said the MP has also agreed to post apologies on newspapers with national circulation as part of the agreement to be presented before the Court on next Tuesday.
“We have used Article 159 (2) (c) of the Constitution which allows for the use of alternative means of dispute resolution including reconciliation, mediation, arbitration and traditional resolution,” Dzoro said.
The Gatundu South MP has been accused occasionally of posting hate remarks on social media.
“I want to call upon politicians to be very careful of what they say out there, because every action has a counter reaction equal and opposite. Even if I keep quiet and someone else goes out there and says Kenya belongs to two communities, it is an exercise in futility, so let’s all agree to stop,” he said when asked whether he will refrain from making controversial statements.
The NCIC had initially taken Kuria to court over the posts on his Facebook account which the Director of Public Prosecutions said amounted to hate speech.
Kuria had applied for reconciliation in court after the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) sued him over the remarks.
DPP Tobiko had in July agreed with the recommendations of the hate speech by the Commission and asked police to go ahead and charge him in court.
Tobiko received a file on the case on May 30 from NCIC recommending charges against Kuria. Tobiko had written 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).
The LSK singled out Kuria for allegedly uploading a series of inciteful Facebook posts targeted at a specific community.
Section 13 of the National Cohesion and Integration Act makes it illegal to use threatening, abusive or insulting words, acts or materials liable to stir up ethnic hatred.
LSK attached a download from Kuria’s Facebook wall together with comments.
In his response to the letter from the LSK, Kuria argued that he had not named any communities as such they had no basis for their allegations.