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Petitioner moves to court to have Safaricom advert 'Shangwe Mtaani' withdrawn

By Peace Loise Mbae | October 15th 2015

NAIROBI: The new Safaricom lottery advertisement dubbed 'Shangwe Mtaani' is now a matter before the court.

A petitioner moved to the High Court Thursday seeking for the withdrawal of the advert on basis that it might create ethnic division.

Peter Solomon Gichira through the application against the telecommunication company said the advert undermines the spirit of national cohesion and integration as provided in the constitution.

He says in the documents filed at the court's registry that the advert portrays regions as hosting only specific ethnic communities and in so doing leaving out other Kenyans living in the same regions.

"The utterances 'Kila Mtu ashindie kwao' (everyone should win within their regions) on TV and radio advert imply that Nyanza belong to people of Luo and Kisii tribes, Rift Valley to the Kanlenjins, Mount Kenya to the Kikuyus, e.t.c have served to exclude other Kenyans in these regions," read the application.

Gichira said if not checked the seemingly innocent advert may create ethnic divides as experienced during the post-election violence.

"The 47 counties that make the Republic of Kenya do not belong to particular communities but to all persons of Kenyan citizenship," he said.

Gichira said in the petition that the constitution provides equality of all persons with a right to enjoy equal protection and benefit of the law free from discrimination of any sort.

He further stated that the advert has denied people of minority communities' inclusion.

"These advertisements have ended up denying some minority groups within the said regions their full right of enjoyments to belong to as protected by the constitution and the National Cohesion and Integration Act of 2008 which is an abuse of their human rights," Gichira said.

He now wants the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) to order for urgent withdrawal of the advert and grant any further orders within its mandate.

"The commission should find within its mandate to order the withdrawal of the advert in the spirit of peace, reconciliation and healing threat the country so much desires," Gichira said.

In the petition also filed against the Attorney General Githu Muigai, he said the NCIC and the state has the mandate to give full effect to the realization of the rights guaranteed under the constitution by resolving any disadvantages suffered by individuals or groups.

He said the two should also ensure such issues from the advert are not repeated in the future.

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