Cohesion agency makes good on promise to rein in hate speech

Monday March 20 2017

National Cohesion and Integration Commission

National Cohesion and Integration Commission chairperson Francis Ole Kaparo addresses media during the launch of the Ethic and Diversity Audit Report on public institutions on October 3, 2016 at the agency's offices in Nairobi. NCIC vice chair Irene Wanyoike has said the agency will make sure politicians do not incite people to cause violence. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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National Cohesion and Integration Commission has said it has acquired equipment for monitoring statements by politicians, hoping to rein in hate speech in the coming polls.

Ms Irene Wanyoike, the vice chairperson, said the gadgets have been procured and are being distributed in all the 47 counties.

Speaking at Kerugoya Roswam hotel in Kirinyaga County during a two-day women empowerment workshop, Ms Wanyoike said the devices will be used in campaign meetings and civic education forums.

She added that those found propagating messages that might incite people to violence will not be spared.

"The Commission is alert and will not tolerate anyone out to cause chaos at the expense of majority Kenyans," she said.

She told the participants that the agency is determined to ensure peace prevails in all parts of Kenya, and prevent a recurrence of post-election violence.

"We want a peaceful nation. We want all tribes to live in harmony," she said.

Further, she urged Kenyans to shun politicians who are fanning disorder.

Additionally, Mr Gilbert Kitiyo, the county deputy commissioner, told politicians not to exploit the youths by using them to disrupt their opponents' meetings, or any other form of disorder.

Mr Kitiyo disclosed that a senior politician is being investigated over claims of hiring goons to cause chaos in the region.

"The politician has even been questioned twice by the police and recorded statements and he could face criminal charges," he said.

Ms Wanyoike advised women not to duck out of leadership opportunities. Ms Wanyoike said they need to be actively involved in politics and decision-making activities.

"Women should not shy away from seeking political seats. They should compete for the seats if they want to be involved in making decisions that contribute towards their progress," she said.