The National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) has advised leaders to be wary of using hate speech and related offenses as they debate the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report.
NCIC Commissioner Mr. Abdulaziz Farah said leaders and their supporters should avoid inciting Kenyans, something which may spark chaos in the country.
Farah speaking in Murang’a after meeting local MCAs on Monday observed most clashes which have been witnessed in the country in the past where all occasioned by incitement and careless speaking by some leaders.
He noted that BBI is purported to foster unity and tranquility in the country but some leaders may use the opportunity to spread hate speech and hatred among Kenyans.
“The commission is mandated to ensure there is unity and cohesion in the country, we will not spare any leader who will fuel animosity among local communities. Already we have a number of cases of some individuals who are accused of fueling hate speech,” said the Commissioner.
Farah continued, “the commission has been engaging leaders and politicians at grassroots to ensure they embrace peace and avoid dividing Kenyans through irresponsible talking.
He reflected that the case of ‘pangani six’ has assisted to tame politicians from spreading hate speech saying some of the leaders are facing charges in court which are yet to be concluded.
The commissioner said in Murang’a there have been cases of clashes and local leaders should desist from inciting their supporters against their opponents.
Hate speech, Farah said is not only spread by leaders noting that individuals are currently misusing social media platforms to fuel animosity among Kenyans.
“We have a strategy to monitor those using social media to fuel differences and hostility among Kenyans. The structures we have will ensure the culprits face full wrath of the law,” he further said.
Farah said the commission has the ability to track and nab those fueling hate speech through social media cautioning Kenyans to avoid creating divisions among Kenyans.
“We know some people are hiding through the use of social media to insult, divide and spur hostility among residents and as a commission we are monitoring various digital platforms to bring those perpetuating hate speech to book,” he added.
The commissioner told politicians to work on uniting Kenyans instead and do mature campaigns which will foster peace in the entire nation.
By Bernard Munyao