Kenya: NCIC Warns Politicians Against Hate-Speech Ahead of 2022

17 February 2020

Politicians caught inciting the public will be barred from running for office in the 2022 general election, the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) has said.

The commission singled out the Central region, which is set to host rallies to promote the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).

The region has experienced harsh political storms in past months, with turf wars between Jubilee Party's Kieleweke and Tangatanga faction.

PUNISHMENTS

Speaking at the end of a consultative meeting with security officials in Nyeri County on Monday, commissioners noted they will keep sharp focus on what politicians say at rallies.

"If you incite people to violence or engage in hate speech, the commission will first take stern action and take you to court," commissioner Wambui Nyutu said during a press briefing.

"After that we will make sure you do not run for political office because if you do not meet ethical standards, you should not be allowed to."

Ms Nyutu also said the NCIC will deploy authorities to monitor politicking so that it presents strong cases.

"We will remain very strict on politicians who incite people to violence. The security team has assured us it will help and even allow officers to be witnesses in our cases," Ms Nyutu said.

HOOLIGANISM

Political hooliganism has also emerged as a major concern for NCIC pointing an accusing finger on politicians for hiring goons against their opponents.

"The attention of the NCIC has been drawn to central Kenya because of political divisions among leaders which have resulted in dangerous activities such as hiring goons to disrupt meetings. We cannot take for granted such events because such lead to violence," commissioner Sam Kona said.

Mr Kona said the NCIC is taking a proactive approach in handling the political wars in the region as the BBI rallies draw nearer.

"Nyeri will be the centre of the BBI process in the coming weeks. That is why we came here first," he said.

The commission also warned youth against being used by politicians to propagate divisive politics.

This week, it will meet security officials, civil society groups and religious leaders in Nyandarua and Murang'a Counties.

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