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Cohesion body facing hurdles probing incitement

By ISAAC MESO | May 27th 2014

Nairobi, Kenya: The National Cohesion and Integration Commission has admitted that it was facing challenges in conducting investigations and recommending prosecution of individuals believed to propagate hate speech.

NCIC assistant director of the compliant, legal and enforcement department Kyalo Mwengi said the commission was being discouraged from fully pursuing individuals accused of propagating hate speech since the affected parties were not willing to lodge formal complaints.

The official spoke yesterday when Moses Kuria, Political Analyst and a Pubic Relation Consultant, appeared before the commission over alleged inciting statements made on social media.

“We are ready to conduct investigations and recommend prosecution of any individual who’s speech or statement may be detrimental to national cohesion but currently we are facing the difficulty of taking up matters of ethnic hatred and hate speech because nobody is willing to lodge a formal complaint,” said Kyalo.

Mwengi said they had not summoned former Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka since the journalist offended by his remark was no longer interested in pursuing the matter.

He said they will only follow up the matter once the journalist files a formal complaint.

Kalonzo had declined to answer a question from the journalist, responding instead that “his name betrayed it” .

Kuria was summoned over a Facebook post concerning terror. He was summoned to appear before the commission following his Facebook post that Mwengi noted was a threat  to national cohesion as it incited Kenyans against a particular ethnic group.


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