Uhuru, governors draw plan to tame hate mongers before 2017 poll


President Uhuru Kenyatta (centre) during his meeting with the Council of Governors at State House in Nairobi, August 10, 2016. /PSCU

President Uhuru Kenyatta and the Council of Governors have agreed on stern action against anyone who engages in incitement or issues hate remarks.

Uhuru and the governors discussed the maintenance of peace ahead of the 2017 general election at their meeting at State House, Nairobi, on Wednesday.

They agreed that those who engage in the offences will face serious punishments irrespective of their status or positions.

Uhuru’s joint statement with the CoG read: “We must be clear that we shall not balkanise the country for whatever reason or purpose.”

Politicians have in the past been arrested, detained in cells and arraigned for issuing hate remarks during public rallies.


Security agencies were further given the mandate to deal with perpetrators of hate speech and incitement according to the law.

“Particular attention and action will be taken should there be misuse of social media and vernacular broadcasters,” the statement read in part.

Cord leader Raila Odinga earlier accused the government of curtailing the media’s freedom of speech . He was referring to Interior CS Joseph Nkaissery’s warning on bloggers spreading hate messages on social media.

“This especially for vernacular radio stations that are involved in the propagation of hate speech or incitement,” read the statement in part.

The governors, led by CoG chairman Peter Munya, said security arrangements between the national and county governments will be operationalised.

This, Munya said, will be done through the launch of the County Policing Authority, which coordinates national and county governments on policing issues.

They also agreed that the two levels of government will collaborate on the speedy issuance of ID cards.

“This is to to ensure all eligible Kenyans have the ID cards and can participate in elections as is their constitutional right,” it read.


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