20 December 2012

Kenya: NCIC Warns Against Hate Messages

Photo: © Julius Mwelu/IRIN
Youth carry crude weapons ready to fight during 2008 election violence (file photo).

NCIC vice chair Milly Lwanga says that politicians using coded language and stereotypes amounting to hate speech will face prosecution.

Speaking during a workshop for peace monitors from Bungoma at Rosewood Hotel yesterday, Lwanga said such language fuels conflict that sparks ethnic violence.

She said the commission has completed a study of stereotypes and coded languages used all over the country that will enable it identify perpetrators of hate speech.

She said NCIC would exploit its legal mandate to investigate cases of hate speech and forward cases to the Director of Public Prosecutions for prompt action once evidence is gathered.

Bungoma is among regions identified by the commission as a political hotspot where election campaigns marred by hate speech could spark intolerance.

She said early warning systems were now in place for people to anonymously give information that would help authorities avert possible violence. "It all boils down to individual responsibility if we have to entrench the rule of law," she said.

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