By WAHOME THUKU
Three Kikuyu musicians now face five years or more in jail each after they were charged with incitement to violence and hate speech.
Beside a mandatory jail term of upto five years for incitement charges, the three could be fined up to Sh1 million each if found guilty of hate speech.
John Muigai alias Muigai wa Njoroge, Mark Kamande wa Kioi, and John Ng’ang’a alias John De Mathew were arraigned before a Nairobi court charged separately with incitement and hate speeches in their songs.
But through their five defence lawyers, the musicians turned the heat on the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) and accused it of promoting tribal hatred. They said they would take the matter to the High Court for determination of constitutional issues.
The trio were charged before Senior Principal Magistrate Elija Obaga at the Milimani Law Courts in Nairobi. Muigai, a popular gospel singer and music producer, was charged with two counts of incitement to violence and one of hate speech.
He was accused of making the remarks intended to cause violence and hatred between the Kikuyu and the Luo community in his hit, Hague Bound produced in February, last year in Nairobi.
Kamande also faced two charges of incitement to violence and one of hate speech. He allegedly made the utterance in a song Uhuru ni Witu (Uhuru is Ours) produced in February.
Ng’ang’a popularly known to his fans as De Mathew faced one charge of incitement to violence and two of making ethnic and racial contempt in his songs Uhuru ni Witu and Mwaka wa Hiti (The Year of the Hyena).
Police chose to charge them with incitement under Section 96(a) of the Penal Code, which attracts up to five years jail term without an option of a fine. However, the prosecution will have to prove that the words implied in the songs would be desirable to cause death or physical injury to a person, a community, class of persons or body of persons.
The charges of hate speech under the National Cohesion and Integration Act of 2008 attract up to Sh1 million fine or three to five years in jail.
There was a light moment as one court clerk read out the charges in Kikuyu and the other made an English translation of the offensive words.