The National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) has announced a crackdown against 36 bloggers accused of making remarks bordering hate speech and incitement.
Speaking during a briefing on the State of Peace and Political Decency, on Friday, March 18, NCIC Chairperson Samuel Kobia confirmed that the commission was going after the 36 affiliated with political coalitions.
The 36 bloggers were alleged to be behind coordinated attacks orchestrated by the Azimio La Umoja coalition and the Kenya Kwanza alliance.
Dr Kobia, who addressed the press, stated that so far the commission has presented 9 cases before the court while the 27 others were still under investigation.
The Chairperson further stated that the 36 unnamed bloggers are notorious for spreading hate speech messages across their social media platforms.
“We will make their names public soon,” Kobia said adding that they will seek to have social media accounts in contention suspended.
“The 36 are closely being monitored and the commission is currently investigating them with the aim of ensuring that they will be arraigned in court,” Dr Kobia stated.
NCIC rebuked the use of social media by political parties to promote hatred and violence in the country during this electioneering period.
The commission's Communications Director, Dr Danvas Makori had on Thursday, March 17, noted that the commission received a number of complaints from concerned Kenyans over remarks and comments that bloggers affiliated with political parties made via social media platforms.
“Social media platforms are awash with ethnic hatred, hate speech and incitement to violence. In February 2022 alone, we flagged out nine ethnics and hate speech cases. The main perpetrators of these are largely Azimio la Umoja and Kenya Kwanza.” Dr Makori stated.
Azimio La Umoja coalition and the Kenya Kwanza alliance have not yet responded to these allegations.
NCIC Chair also noted that ODM leader Raila Odinga will be grilled after he returns from the UK for using the word “madoadoa” during a rally in Wajir County.
The National Cohesion and Integration Commission Kenya (NCIC) also revealed that it will soon be publishing a list of words considered hate speech and ban them from various public forums.
“These words will be banned from any rally, social media post and any political talk show.
"This will go a long way in containing hate speech and ensuring our nation is secure during the electioneering period ” the NCIC Chairperson stated.