Police to question 18 Cord, Jubilee leaders over 'hate speech'

DPP Keriako Tobiko has ordered the lawmakers to record statement with police.

NAIROBI, KENYA: Eighteen senators and National Assembly members are today expected to record statements with police over alleged hate speech linked to recent political rallies.

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Keriako Tobiko ordered the lawmakers from both the ruling and Opposition coalitions to record statements with the police following complaints from unknown parties.

MPs from CORD are expected to record their statements at various police stations including Central, Nairobi Area, Industrial Area, Kamkunji and Kilimani.

Nairobi head of CID Nicholas Kamwende said they had reached a number of individuals and who agreed to meet today. "I am informed some of them, including Omar and Khalwale, are out of the country but we will wait for them," he said, referring to senators Hassan Omar (Mombasa) and Boni Khalwale (Kakamega).

Others expected to be grilled are senators Johnstone Muthama (Machakos), Elizabeth Ongoro (nominated) and James Orengo (Siaya).

Members of the National Assembly Jakoyo Midiwo (Gem), Tom Kajwang' (Ruaraka), Simba Arati (Dagoretti North) and Junet Mohammed (Suna East) are also on the list of those to be questioned.

Police said they allegedly made inflammatory statements during recent public rallies in Nairobi, Mombasa and Migori.

The DPP's office has already directed that Mombasa County Woman Representative Mishi Mboko be arrested and charged with hate speech today.

Nine Jubilee MPs also have a date with the police.

Starehe MP Maina Kamanda, who has been accused of making inflammatory statements during a rally at Muthurwa market recently, is expected to record his statement either today or tomorrow, police said.

TNA MPs to be questioned are Othaya's Mary Wambui, Kareke Mbiuki (Maara), Francis Waititu (Juja), Chege Njoroge (Kasarani), Ben Mutura (Makadara), Richard Tong'i (Nyaribari Chache), Kimani Ichung'wa (Kikuyu) and George Theuri (Embakasi West).

And TNA political activist Moses Kuria also faces a similar fate.

Police released Nairobi ODM chairman George Aladwa on Saturday night after almost eight hours of being held without recording a statement.

He was released on a bond of Sh20,000 after his supporters accused police of applying double standards in their probe.

Police said they were looking for a youth leader who called for the swearing in of former Prime Minister Raila Odinga on Saba Saba Day (July 7). Aladwa, who was arrested on Saturday for allegedly calling for the swearing in of Raila as president, has denied the claims.

This comes as the Government is taking stringent measures on remarks that constitute hate speech.

The Government has launched a clamp down against hate speech amid claims it was a scheme by Jubilee to intimidate and silence the Opposition.

Section 13 of the National Cohesion and Integration Act makes it illegal to use threatening, abusive or insulting words, acts or materials liable to stir up ethnic hatred.

Section 62 of the Act further outlaws speech intended to incite feelings of contempt, hatred, hostility, violence or discrimination against any person, group or community on the basis of ethnicity or race.