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Politicians warned against spreading ethnic animosity

RIFT VALLEY
By Kennedy Gachuhi and Sara Okuoro | June 8th 2017
Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago

National Cohesion and Integration Commission launches probe on hate speech allegations against Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago and MP Oscar Sudi.

Interior CS Joseph Nkaissery said they two will be charged if found guilty of having breached the law.

A number of Nakuru leaders have warned politicians against spreading ethnic animosity among Kenyans ahead of the August 8 elections.

The leaders lashed out at Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago and Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi who have been accused of propagating hateful remarks during their recent rallies.

The governor and MP, who were nominated by Jubilee Party, allegedly made remarks perceived to be a threat to a certain community living in Uasin Gishu County if they vote for Zedekiah Bundotich, who is an independent governorship candidate.

Led by former Naivasha MP John Mututho, the Nakuru leaders called on the two to avoid raising unnecessary tension among various communities living in Uasin Gishu.

Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi

The leaders urged the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) to move quickly and investigate the politicians' statements to salvage the situation that has already sparked a heated debate on social media.

"It is very unfortunate that leaders have been quoted spreading ethnic animosty in broad daylight, knowing very well what happened in various parts of their county in 2007. The NCIC should investigate the matter before it gets out of hand," said Mr Mututho.

Mututho said the Francis ole Kaparo-led commission should avoid being seen to apply the law selectively against culprits involved in hate speech.

His sentiments were echoed by Zipporah Kimani, who is vying for the Nakuru woman representative position and who described the utterances as careless.

"Only a coward threatens people to vote for them. It is a show of immature politics that should be condemned by all peace-loving Kenyans," said Rev Kimani.

Gilbert Kabage, an elder, also called for the arrest and prosecution of the politicians for hate speech.

"Those inciting communities against each other should be arrested and charged," he said. 

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