By Martin Mutua
Juja legislator William Kabogo appeared before the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) to answer to hate speech claims against him while his Starehe counterpart Margaret Wanjiru is expected to show up today.
Kabogo and Wanjiru had been accused by the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) of hate speech while the Juja MP also faced another charge from the Hindu Council of Kenya (HCK) for allegedly making unflattering remarks against Kenyans of Indian origin.
Speaking to the media on Monday at NCIC offices in Nairobi after recording a statement with NCIC investigators and legal officers, Kabogo denied claims that he incited Kenyans against the rule of law as LSK alleged.
He is accused of promising to reject any court decision that may bar Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Eldoret North MP William Ruto from the 2013 presidential elections over integrity issues.
“LSK must understand what hate speech is all about. I meant that if we lose the case in High Court, we will go to the Court of Appeal, if we lose we go to the Supreme Court, if we lose, we go to the East African Court of Justice. We will follow the law till the end. There was no hate speech at all,” he said.
Regarding the alleged anti-Indians complaint, Kabogo insisted his views were misrepresented by a section of the print media that reported it several times this month.
The Juja MP also insisted he never said that no Kenyan of Indian origin would get a tender or contract in Kiambu County.
He added he had emphasised that lucrative contracts would go to youths, no matter their ethnic background.
When contacted, HCK promised to release a statement over the matter today.
He called on the media to be more careful and responsible in their reporting to avoid sparking destructive tension and conflict in the country or plunging individuals into trouble with the law.
NCIC declined to issue a statement over the summons, with sources indicating they were still investigating the charges against the two legislators before deciding whether they amounted to hate speech.
A senior official of the commission who requested anonymity said the LSK application may not fit within the mandate of NCIC and may therefore be dismissed.
But he insisted the hate speech claims by representatives of the Indian community would be taken up and probed further to see if Kabogo has a case to answer.