African Press Association

Scores nabbed in Kenya hate speech crackdown

From MARIA MACHARIA in Nairobi, Kenya
NAIROBI, (CAJ News) – SOME 27 suspects have been arrested for perpetrating hate speech in the wake of divisive elections in the East African country.
Over 250 others are under investigation.
The National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) embarked on a crackdown following widespread hate speech on social media.
NCIC vice chairperson, Irene Wanyoike, said the agency had intensified efforts to bring culprits to book.
The commission has trained some 2 000 police officers across the country and issued audio recording devices to monitor hate speech.
“They have done a commendable job thus far,” Wanyoike said.
NCIC is a government agency established following the 2007/08 post-election crisis that claimed the lives of 1 500 civilians and displaced 600 000 others.
The commission’s function is to prevent of discrimination on the basis of race or ethnicity.
Kenya is gripped by tension after the Supreme Court last Friday annulled elections whose conduct was marred by vote rigging and ethnic-driven hate speech.
Ethnic relations have been strained after opposition leader Raila Odinga, from the Luo tribe, claimed polls were rigged in favour of President Uhuru Kenyatta, from the majority Kikuyu.
The two tribes are dominant out of more than 40 tribes in Kenya.
Last week, it was reported 20 schools had been shut as teachers fled heightened conflict in northeast of the country.

– CAJ News