5 February 2013

Kenya: NCIC Trains 105 Hate Speech Monitors

THE National Cohesion and Integration Commission has started training more than 100 monitors to watch out for hate speech mongers.

Chairman Mzalendo Kibunjia said the monitors will undergo training in social cohesion, early warning and response mechanisms as well as hate speech.

"We have gathered a number of experts to ensure that you receive the best training to meet the objectives that will be set forth for you," Kibunjia said when he launched a three-day training in Nairobi yesterday.

"You will be required to identify and report to the commission on issues that are likely to inhibit the attainment of harmonious relations between the different ethnic groups in different counties,"he said.

The monitors will be deployed to the 47 counties for six months. Kibunjia said hate speech played a major role in the 2007-08 post-election violence.

He said the monitors will be required to report on the cohesion status of their respective regions, attend political rallies and meetings and make note of inflammatory statements likely to cause tension among communities.

They will be expected to advise NCIC on the appropriate response mechanism or interventions for a given conflict, monitor the general election and report to the commission and in particular make note of any electoral malpractises or injustices.

Kibunjia said the commission is working with other institutions including the police, National Steering Committee, Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission to curb hate speech.

The commission has also partnered with some mobile phone service providers like Safaricom to track hate speech messages and forwarding them to the NCIC for necessary action.

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