Observers call out vernacular stations for hate speech

Elog Chairperson Crispin Kaheru (left) addresses the press in May 2022. [Edward Kiplimo, Standard]

Election Observation Group (Elog) has expressed confidence that the elections will be peaceful.

Speaking in Nairobi on August 8, Elog’s youth agenda CEO, Victor Nyongesa stated that the organisation has witnessed a relatively peaceful campaign period which hints at a possibility of the same during and after the elections.

“Elog notes that campaigns in the 2022 General Election cycle have been relatively peaceful compared to 2017. Notwithstanding, sporadic violence incidents have been observed in a few areas,” said Mr Nyongesa.

The group urged security agencies to partner with community leaders to maintain peace and ensure early intervention in areas where ethnic tension has been reported.

“Elog has conducted a comparative analysis without key strategic partners and has mapped the following areas as key potential hotspots. They include: Nairobi, Nakuru, Kericho, Kisumu, Uasin Gishu and Mombasa,” said Mr Nyongesa.

The group has also warned that Twitter, Facebook and TikTok are fertile ground for the proliferation of fake news and misinformation while vernacular radio stations also facilitate hate speech during call-ins and political debates.

“Vernacular stations recorded increased spread of ethnic hate speech content, particularly during political party primaries,” said Mr Nyongesa.