Thursday, July 16, 2020
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Concern over uncontrolled media content

The  Government is keenly monitoring the social media and local FM stations which are being accused of fueling ethnic disharmony in Marsabit County.

The  Marsabit County Commissioner (CC), Evans  Achoki also, directed Chiefs and their Assistants to establish locational disarmament committees to assist in the on-going operation to recover illegal firearms.

Achoki  warned owners of the stations which broadcast in vernacular and administrators of social media platforms against allowing their outlets to be used for incitement and hate speech.

The CC  who was responding to complaints by a section of participants during a peace stakeholders meeting held at a Marsabit hotel on Tuesday, said legal action would be taken against anybody engaging in hostile activities.

He told the participants who included members of peace committees and public administrators, that the government has employed tools to enable the security apparatus to apprehend and bring to book those who use social media and radio stations in fueling insecurity in the County.

“The social media and local FM stations are meant to play more important roles in educating and informing wananchi on government policies and development but not incitement,” he stated.

He reminded reporters that the sector was a regulated one and called on radio presenters to observe professionalism by avoiding opinionated reporting.

“They should be able to censor the utterances of their listeners who participate in call-in shows,” said the Achoki who asked the Media Council of Kenya to ensure that only qualified and accredited journalists were in practice.

During the meeting that  was facilitated by World Vision-Kenya, the participants alleged that social media platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook and some local FM stations which have large following were being used as tools for provoking ethnic hatreds among local pastoralist communities.

Achoki directed DCCs to ensure that Chiefs and their Assistants made good use of the Security Committees in order to administrate security matters in the county effectively.

The World vision Project Coordinator, Vincent Omunyin appealed to the stakeholders to have joint effort in pursuing long-lasting peace in the County.

Omunyin said that the welfare of children who greatly suffer in the event of ethnic conflicts was of great concern to the organization and appealed to stakeholders to join hands and fight negative ethnicity.

The participants largely called on relevant government departments as a matter of urgency to address the land and boundary disputes between local communities.

By  Sebastian  Miriti

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