28 June 2012

Kenya: Musician Wa Kioi in Trouble Over Uhuru Song

The National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) chair Mzalendo Kibunjia has urged two musicians, John de Mathew and Muigai wa Njoroge to ... ( Resource: Kenya: Hate Speech in Songs )

Nairobi — Popular Kikuyu musician Kamande wa Kioi will be charged in Court next Tuesday after National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) completed investigations into alleged hate speech in one of his songs.

Kioi was presented at the NCIC offices by an officer from the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) where he recorded a statement and was also made aware of the charges he will be facing.

A commission officer who spoke to Capital FM News on condition of anonymity said that the NCIC had used a translator to know the content of Kioi's song, 'Uhuru ni Witu' (Uhuru is ours).

"We have had him for close to three hours, in line with natural justice we summoned him to appear, he did and he has been informed of the charges against him," said the officer who refused to disclose the charges to be preferred against the musician.

After he was made aware of the charges he was arrested and taken to the Kilimani police station. He was later released on a cash bail of Sh10,000.

The source said: "Kioi has pleaded with the commission not to recommend his arrest and had wanted to be taken back to Kilimani and be released on bond."

Kioi who was also accompanied by a man said to be his manager refused to speak to the media who had camped outside the NCIC office in Upper Hill.

Two other musicians John DeMathew and Muigai wa Njoroge also under investigation failed to honour summons to appear and police are said to be looking for them.

The NCIC flagged the songs, 'Mwaka wa Hiti' (year of the hyena) by DeMathew, Muigai wa Njoroge's 'Hague bound' and 'Uhuru ni Witu' by Kamande wa Kioi after public complaints.

According to the National Cohesion and Integration Act, if the musicians are found guilty of hate speech, they will be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or a fine of Sh1 million or both.

"A person who distributes, shows or plays a recording of visual image or provides, produces or directs a programme which involves use of threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour commits an offence if such person intends thereby to stir up ethnic hatred or having regard to all the circumstances, ethnic hatred is likely to be stirred up," the Act states in part.

A radio station that plays the music would be liable to a fine not exceeding Sh1 million according to the Act.

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