HATE SPEECH

NCIC not doing enough to curb hate speech- Mzalendo Kibunjia

Commissioner Sam Kona said they are handling 40 hate speech related cases.

In Summary

• Mzalendo Kibunjia said that NCIC should not let the country drift into violence.

• Commissioner Kona said that tackling hate speech should start from the macro level and that those in government positions should not lower the level of leadership.

Former NCIC Chairperson,Dr Mzalendo Kibunjia/ FILE.
Former NCIC Chairperson,Dr Mzalendo Kibunjia/ FILE.

Former National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) chair Mzalendo Kibunjia fas expressed his dissatisfaction with the current leadership of the commission.

In an interview with one of the tv stations on Wednesday night, Kibunjia said that the 2007/2008 Post Election Violence started gradually through hate speech from some of the leaders.

Kibunjia, who was the first chairman of the Commission tasked with building cohesion in the country and to monitor and prosecute cases of hate speech in the country said that NCIC should not let the country drift in violence.

 

“Those who know what happened in 2007/2008, these were the signs that led us to kill each other in hundreds. NCIC should not let Kenyans drift in that way because we already have that in history and history repeats itself,” Kibunjia said.

According to Kibunjia, the commission should keep on reminding Kenyans on the effects of hate speech without timing when the elections are near.

Speaking on the same platform, Commissioner Sam Kona said that hate speech is a national problem and a serious challenge that is connected with leadership.

Our country has a serious challenge, particularly a challenge related to leadership because most of the people who are often caught engaging in dangerous speech are people who have privilege in the society or occupy positions in government,” Kona said.

Commissioner Kona said that tackling hate speech should start from the macro level and that those in government positions should not lower the level of leadership.

 The commissioner added that the solution to hate speech is to leave under the law and not waiting for the punishment of hate speech perpetrators.

“The problem is not hated speech…are we able to leave by the rule of law, are we able to respect the fact that we are citizens and we need to be ruled in a particular way?”

Kona said the commission is handling 40 hate speech cases that have been caused by mobilisation based on ethnicity.

The commissioner said that some cases have been contributed by the revenue sharing debate, boundary review among others.

He also added that the mode of elections in the country and early campaigns lead to such cases.

"Before Covid-19 came in, there was a lot of movements across the country around the BBI process where people were mobilising whether to accept or reject it."

 

Emurua Dikirr MP Johanna Ng’eno was charged over hate speech said to have targeted certain community members.

The MP was on Tuesday charged with two counts of hate speech and offensive conduct.

The MP who was charged during a virtual hearing was accused of using abusive language on September 6 at Junction area, Olgos Sofia village.

He faces a second count of offensive conduct on the same day and place.

The second charge states that at a public gathering, he directed insults at the presidency.

He denied committing the crimes when he appeared before Nakuru Chief Magistrate Elizabeth Osui.