- Raila Odinga
The National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) has cautioned leaders over their speeches at rallies even as Azimio announced enhanced political engagements across the country.
In a statement dated Thursday, February 2, NCIC stated that it had noted an upward trend in hate speech on social media since the rallies began.
To this effect, the Bishop Samuel Kobia-led body added that all politicians would be held to account for their speeches at political events.
"Leaders who speak at these political rallies must be aware that they will be held personally responsible for their utterances while at political rallies. This is the stance that the commission has taken and will execute without fear or favour.NCIC chairman Samuel Kobia among other officials addressing the media on February 2, 2023.NCIC
"It is disturbing to note that there is re-emergence of political incitement and hate speech by some of the political leaders," read the statement in part.
NCIC explained that their stance had been informed by the agency's investigation that showed there was a surge in hate speech on social media by 100 per cent since the rallies started.
"For instance, the Commission through the social media investigation team flagged 10 hate speech and 20 misinformation cases as compared to three (3) cases in November and December 2022.
"This is an indication that hate speech and ethnic contempt are a result of the recent political rallies," read the statement in part.
Further, the commission urged the politicians to tone down on the rallies noting that Kenyans needed a safe environment to work following the tough economic time in the country.
The statement by the agency came hours after Korogocho MCA Absalom Odhiambo was released following his arrest over statements he made at Azimio's inaugural rally at Kamukunji Grounds.
On the other hand, Azimio announced its third rally of the year set to be held in Kibra over the weekend.
“The Kibra rally will be followed by another Baraza on Friday, February 10, 2023, this time in Mavoko, Machakos County,” National Assembly Leader of Minority Opiyo Wandayi stated.Korogocho Member of County Assembly Absalom Odhiambo speaking during an Azimio rally in Nairobi County on January 23, 2023.arrest
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