, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 30 – Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko has asked the National Cohesion and Integration Commission to probe Machakos Senator Johnson Muthama, after police recommended he be charged with ethnic contempt.
The Director of Criminal Investigations Ndegwa Muhoro sent the file to the DPP over the remarks the Senator made while at a rally in Busia at the weekend, during the homecoming of the area Woman Representative Florence Mutua.
Tobiko has called for speedy investigations into the alleged offensive remarks by the Machakos Senator and the file returned for appropriate action to be taken.
“In the file, the DCI has recommended that the suspect (Muthama) be charged with the offence of ethnic contempt contrary to section 62(1) of the National Cohesion and Integration Act No.12 of 2008,” Tobiko said through a statement.
Muthama is among eight legislators who were held in police custody for four days over hate-speech and had also committed to launch a campaign calling for unity among all Kenyans.
Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet on Wednesday warned politicians against spewing hatred, saying they will be arrested and ultimately get prosecuted.
While referring to the recent incident where Muthama and his counterparts were arrested and held in custody, Boinnet cautioned that the doors of Pangani Police Station were still open for those who violate the law.
“We will not tire against making immediate action against anybody who wants to stir trouble in this country by making reckless statements,” the IG asserted.
He said police officers are under firm instructions to arrest any hate speech culprit regardless of their political or social status.
Just like any other citizens, Boinnet told politicians that they will get similar treatment while inside police cells.
“When you become a guest of any of our facility, we don’t make exception to anyone. You will enjoy the same privileges that are available to any other Kenyan who is our guest,” he said.
“Don’t say there are no blankets.”
This comes even as ICT ministry on Wednesday announced the progress of a stringent Computer and Cybercrimes Bill 2016, which will among other curb the hate speech menace if enacted to law.
Under the, offenders are likely to be fined Sh20 million or face 10 years in jail.
The Bill, according to Cabinet Secretary for ICT Joe Mucheru, will provide effective policing tools to allow extraction, collection and analysis of digital evidence, the scope of warrants and preservation of evidence among other measures.
“Proportionality in sentencing has been taken into consideration in line with human rights best practices under the Bill. For example, whereas in other East African countries such as Uganda, the sentence provided for offences involving protected computer systems is life imprisonment,” he pointed out.
“The corresponding offences under the Bill carry a penalty of Sh20 million or a 10 year imprisonment term or both.”