– Interior PS Karanja Kibicho said careless remarks made by politicians were raising political temperatures in the country
– Hate speech, he said, was likely to breed ethnic animosity and clashes if perpetrators were not identified and punished
– Kibicho revealed the government was drafting regulations that will help in identifying and punishing perpetrators of hate speech
– Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi and his Emurua Dikirr counterpart Johana Ng’eno have already been charged with hate speech
Interior Principal Secretary (PS) Karanja Kibicho has cautioned politicians against zoning the country into political enclaves and making derogatory remarks against colleagues and other communities.
Speaking in Kisii county on Wednesday, September 23, Kibicho warned that careless remarks by politicians risked escalating political tension and in the long run, may snowball into ethnic animosity if not nipped in the bud.
Kibicho revealed that as the country neared the 2022 General Election the government was working round the clock to develop regulations aimed at identifying and punishing perpetrators of hate speech.
“We are all aware that we are less than two years to the next general election. The recent remarks being made by politicians are showing that we are headed right where we were in 2007. We are not going to tolerate people who are causing disharmony in this country.
Those speaking recklessly should know that we have put them on notice…we are going to publish those protocols so that we know when we are about to cross the red line,” said Kibicho.
The PS further cautioned leaders who have been accused of hate speech or crime against inciting their supporters and communities against the state in a move to escape arrest.
Kibicho insisted that politicians with loose tounges were “not different from criminals” and as such, needed to be treated ruthlessly just like other lawbreakers.
“Whether you run to your tribe or under a political cover, we will not give you space to continue disturbing peace. I have been briefed that here in Kisii, there are some small gangs teaming up to cause political havoc. We will crush you. Don’t have any doubt. We will not let you become political thugs,” he stated.
Remarks by the PS came as Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi, who is accused of hate speech, was charged in a Nakuru court where he pleaded not guilty.
Earlier, Emurua Dirkirr MP Johana Ng’eno also found himself in the soup after he made remarks that were perceived as demeaning to the family of President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Ng’eno, who pleaded not guilty to hate speech, told President Uhuru Kenyatta to pack and leave if he was not ready to work with his deputy William Ruto.
His remarks were echoed by Sudi who also tore into the president claiming that he was persecuting the DP despite having helped him ascend to power in two general elections.
Kibicho visited Kisii to inspect a venue that will be used by the president to commemorate this year’s Mashujaa Day to be marked on October 20.
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