NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 8 –Inspector General of the National Police Service Hilary Mutyambai on Tuesday said police will not spare any leader fanning hate speech and incitement, following increased tension in the country over utterances being made by politicians amid an escalating 2022 election fever.
Mutyambai said those making hate utterances, including social media posts, which are intended to incite Kenyans to violence, will not be spared.
His sentiments came against a backdrop of calls for political tolerance.
“The National Police Service will leave no opportunity to any leader intending to incite the general public to violence. Such incitement shall be faced with full force of law,” said Mutyambai.
The IG further said police willl not hesitate to take a legal actions against politicians found to be spewing hate and incitement.
Mutyambai also urged Kenyans to resist any attempts by leaders to incite them to violence.
“Let us be aware that any individual who incites or threatens violence on people based on ethnic, political or religious affiliations on social media, print media and in public gatherings commits a serious offense and will face drastic legal action,” he said.
Mutyambai’s remarks followed the arrest and prosecution of Emurua Dikirr Member of Parliament Johanna Ng’eno.
The Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Haji on Tuesday preferred hate speech charges against Ng’eno, who has been in custody since Monday over utterances he made over the contentious Mau forest.
Haji said the MP uttered words which are likely to stir ethnic animosity among communities residing within Trans Mara area, adding that his office is satisfied that there is sufficient evidence to mount a successful prosecution.
The DPP also cautioned politicians sowing seeds of discord against Kenyans, saying ethnic tension will not be tolerated regardless of the leaders’ social standing.
Deputy President William Ruto also asked leaders to exercise restraint and avoid insults and unfavorable language against other Kenyans.
“There exists decent ways to communicate however one feels,” the DP tweeted on Monday night.