Politicians who incite tribal hatred to be barred from elections
15 June 2016, 10:57
Mombasa - The National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) wants politicians who propagate hate speech barred from contesting for political seats in the next election.
The commission also wants those implicated with hate speech charges bailed by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) in a bid to curb the alarming rate of hate mongering in the country.
NCIC commissioners led by Joseph Nasongo and Dr. Roba Sharamo said in Mombasa Tuesday that failure to take action against politicians who make inflammatory remarks might plunge the country into chaos.
The commissioners called on National Assembly to amend the Constitution to grand the Independent Electoral and Boundaries commission (IEBC) more powers lock out rogue politicians who are implicated with public incitement and hate speech.
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“We have laws that govern all the processes but there is need for a clear law. We ask the Parliament to make amendments to the electoral laws to ensure those who are implicated are barred from contesting,” said Nasongo.
The commission also proposes that politicians who are eyeing various political seats ahead of the polls acquire a social cohesion certificate as an identity of integrity, adding that it has become the norm to politicians to propagate hate speech in the guise of looking for votes.
He said the commission had completed its investigations into alleged hate speech by some politicians and had forwarded the files to the Director of Public Prosecutions but was concerned by the slow pace at whichJudiciary was handling the cases.
Addressing a press conference at the Mombasa County Commissioner's office, the commissioners were however alarmed by the rate at which hate speech was spreading on social media, adding that thorough investigations are ongoing to arrest more suspects.
“Already, 16 cases are ongoing at different levels. There are also lower level on social media and we have noticed that some of the culprits use anonymous names but we are working closely with the intelligence to monitor them,” added Nasongo.
NCIC said it will restrict political parties from zoning certain areas as their strong holds by erecting billboards with some political messages arguing that the move will trigger ethnic divisions and fear ahead of the next elections.
“We will not allow political zoning, erecting billboards and banners with political zoning messages will contribute to ethnic divisions and this is something the commission is discouraging, as a commission we are working with relevant government authorities to ensure cohesion,” said Sharamo.
However the officials cited numerous challenges including the disconnect between the office of director of public prosecutions Keriako Tobiko,the office of inspector general Joseph Boinet and the National cohesion and the judicial service commission JSC as barriers towards prosecuting hate mongers.
The judiciary has been accused of derailing efforts to prosecute hate mongers by the fact that most of the suspects are granted bonds to walk Scot free even after committing serious offenses amounting to imprisonment.
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