NCIC wants special courts established to handle hate speech cases

NCIC wants special courts established to handle hate speech cases
File image of NCIC Chairman Rev. Dr. Samuel Kobia during a past event. PHOTO| COURTESY

Violent happenings in the recent bitterly contested by-elections are among the ugly warning signs ahead of the 2022 elections prompting the National Cohesion and Integration Commission NCIC to roll out its game plan.

The NCIC has kicked off a campaign dubbed elections bila noma to ensure peaceful transition during and after the General Election.

During the launch of the 2020-2025 strategic plan focused on taming ethnic based political violence, reducing incidences of hate speech, encouraging peaceful co-existence between communities and also eliminating ethnic discrimination, the commissions’ chairman Rev. Dr. Samuel Kobia said the NCIC will work with the DCI and the DPP to ensure perpetrators of hate speech are dealt with.

“If it is possible to set up special courts to deal with the cases that are as i said hate mongers, those who incite violence we have many pending cases because of the backlog,” Dr. Samuel Kobia said on Wednesday.

But with lack of sufficient evidence having led to the dropping of charges against many hate speech perpetrators, Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu however warned NCIC that there would be no conviction without evidence…

“Please do your work appropriately anything less that concrete evidence shall not suffice and we shall not condemn people unheard,” Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu said.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiang’i who also attended the launch said that the security sector was adequately prepared to prevent any political violence.

“We have formed a multi-agency team we are meeting together now, to start the countdown to elections we have mapped the country looked at hotspots areas where we are likely to face certain challenges, we are looking at where we need resources and deployment to ensure every Kenyan is protected and they exercise their right fully,” CS Matiangi said.

And with Kenyans having turned to social media to voice their frustrations on issues, matiang’i warned against abuse of the freedom of expression…

“We will not do things like switching off internet, it will not happen here.. we will not harass people but because we are confident, we will act according to the law and call people to account,” CS Matiangi said.

The NCIC has often been criticized for swinging between the space of a bystander and late comer during moments of national division. but the strategic plan launched today promises change.

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