, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 26 – Police have warned politicians against spewing hatred during campaigns that kicks off on Sunday this week.
Director of Criminal Investigations Ndegwa Muhoro said they intend to firmly enforce the rule of law while stating that they will not hesitate to detain those threatening the stability of the country.
“And I am sending a very strong message that hate speech and other related offences shall not be tolerated,” he asserted.
“Pangani 6 was a joke and this must be taken with the seriousness that it deserves. We will not spare any effort to go for those who want to tear the country apart.”
He asked politicians to seek for votes in a ‘civilized” manner.
Already a unit within the DCI has been trained and equipped to curb and detect Kenyans fuelling hatred on social media, according to the CID boss.
He said as much as the freedom of speech and expression is enshrined in the Constitution, social media users and specifically, the bloggers must do it within the limitations of the law.
“I want to encourage our officers to be fearless and impartial in delivering on the mandate that is bestowed upon them by the Constitution and the National Police Service Act. We are telling them to apply the law without regard to the person standing in the society, without regard to a person’s political inclination or gender,” he said, revealing that those were clear “instructions” to security agencies.
Muhoro was speaking during the launch of the National Cohesion and Integration Cohesion programme, during campaigns and election time on Friday, where officers were asked to enforce the law but within the Constitution.
The country has adopted a multi-agency approach to ensure the country does not slide back to its dark days of 2007-2008, that left over 1,000 people dead.
“One of the instructions that have been given to the National Police Service is to ensure the security of the IEBC and the judicial staff, the electoral materials, members of the public and even the candidates themselves. And this is our cardinal responsibility,” he affirmed.
This programme is part of a series of training to the agencies that will be involved in the August polls.
“I want to appeal to all the political class to put the interest of the country first…we have a country after 8th of August. A country that has over 40 million people from all ethnic backgrounds,” he appealed.
“I want to ask them to be patriotic by advancing their ideas, policies, and manifestos, but in a civilized way. We will be watching.”
Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery has since warned they will be impartial but very firm against those who will commit electoral offences.
“We have taken stringent measures that the country remains safe before, during and after the elections. We are going to fight any politician or citizen who disobeys the law. We will give instructions to police to deal with you there and then. Nobody should doubt government resolve on this,” Nkaissery said earlier this week.
He said politicians who incite citizens will be arrested immediately and processed for persecution.
“I expect nothing short of peace and stability of this country,” he said.