Cabinet ratifies security measures to tame hate speech in country

President Uhuru Kenyatta chairs a Cabinet meeting at State House, Nairobi. [Photo: Standard]

The Cabinet yesterday scaled up Wednesday's National Security Advisory Committee (NSAC) resolutions on taming political tensions with the formation of a multi-agency team to enforce them.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i will convene the agency, which will now specifically crackdown on persons or entities violating the measures triggered by Sunday's clash in Murang'a which left two people dead.

The meeting at State House in Nairobi, which was chaired by President Uhuru Kenyatta and attended by Deputy President William Ruto, noted with concern the growing political tensions threatening peace, security and harmony in the country.

“No person would be allowed to hamper Kenya’s progress, unity and the equal enjoyment of fundamental rights and freedoms by all persons,” State House said in a dispatch to newsrooms yesterday.

The measures announced by the NSAC are seen as aimed at taming Ruto and his team in their ongoing campaigns ahead of the 2022 elections. President Kenyatta has on several occasions said that early election campaigns should stop.

Ruto's planned event in Nyamira became the first victim of the NSAC order when the police trooped to the venue in full combat gear and dispersed the crowd.

The DP later claimed he had postponed the event to next Thursday.

Besides Office of the President, the multi-agency team will have representatives from the Office of the Attorney General, Ministry of ICT, National Intelligence Service, National Police Service, National Cohesion and Integration Commission, ICT Authority and Communication Authority of Kenya.

The team’s terms of reference is to monitor, document and enforce compliance with the directives with respect to the conduct of all public meetings and processions, the permitted processes for media broadcasting, publishing and reporting and the responsible conduct of persons using social media.

Yesterday's Cabinet meeting also considered and approved the 2020 Budget Review and Outlook Paper for the Financial Year 2021/2022’s Medium Term Budget.

The proposals by the National Treasury encapsulate the government’s efforts to stimulate and sustain economic activities through the Economic Stimulus Programme and the Post Covid-19 Economic Recovery Strategy.

The Cabinet also approved measures to enhance Kenya's overall competitiveness and to attract foreign direct investment.