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Hate Speech Mongers Are Now On Notice

06 Sep

Hate mongers are now on official notice their hate speech will no longer be tolerated.

For months, indeed, more than a year now, we have seen an escalation of hate speech especially on the Internet and credible sources tell me one of the hate speech mongers and tribalist received a visit from law enforcement in which he was vigorously interrogated. At the conclusion of the interview, the hate monger basically begged for mercy but the investigating agents left without promising anything either way.

The Daily Nation is now reporting that 8 bloggers are under investigation for possible prosecution for hate speech. I commend this move and so should all peace loving Kenyans.

Yes, it’s a good thing we are enjoying these new freedoms of expression and association but that’s not a license to engage in hate speech or defamation.

While some say the line between acceptable speech and hate speech is thin or blurry, I beg to differ.

One can see hate speech from a mile and so does the law.

Indeed, many, if not all, of the hate mongers know precisely where they are crossing the line but in their idiocy think they can with impunity.

Maybe so in their hateful minds but not under the law and especially given the fact we just cannot let these few hate mongers succeed in once again stoking tribal animosity and hatred that invariably leads to violence as we saw in 2007.

Yours truly is in the process of preparing a memo at no charge outlining how these issues are effectively handled in other countries and will share with law enforcement and others as appropriate.

Meanwhile, here is the DN story:

By Lucas Barasa, Daily Nation

Kenyans fanning hatred through short text messaging could be liable to a fine of up to Sh5 million, the government has warned.

The National Steering Committee on media monitoring said modern and appropriate technology is being put in place to pick up any abusive messages or those that inflame hatred and incitement.

“Those charged with the offence will be liable for prosecution and may be subject to extremely high fines, some as high as Sh5 million and above,” said acting director of communications in the Ministry of Information Omwa Ombara Wednesday.

 She said the committee is still holding consultations on the intended law to subject those who abuse SMS’s and internet to propagate hate speech with a view to reducing the cases.

Ms Ombara, who was accompanied by deputy police spokesman Charles Owino, Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) corporate affairs manager Christopher Wambua and Film Services director Alex Kerich said eight bloggers were being investigated for hate speech and would be prosecuted soon.

“Ways are being sought to disable these destructive medium and Communications Commission of Kenya is looking closely into the matter.

“We are now working with the Department of Public Prosecutions as the area of prosecutions of violations of social media is still new,” Ms Ombara told journalists during the weekly briefing at Teleposta House in Nairobi.

The officials appealed to Kenyan bloggers to be alert and vigilant and “bring to our attention any hate speech they detect on the internet.”

“We urge you to forward the names of such blogs to the Ministry of Information and Communications for relevant action to be taken,” Ms Ombara said.

The committee expressed concern over the “potential and indeed growing misuse of the internet to propagate hate-filled and inciting messages”.

“The steering committee appeals to our media houses and indeed all practitioners to condemn these forums where extremists get occasion to spread this sinister agenda,” Ms Ombara who read a statement on behalf of the committee said.

Divide along tribal lines

The committee said as the electioneering period approaches, Kenyans should be vigilant of groups and individuals who seek to divide them along tribal and religious lines.

“The government will act to ensure that the internet is not used to provide room for such activity,” the statement said.

Mr Owino said the government will deploy enough security in Coast when voter registration starts following threats to disrupt the exercise.

He said police were ready for the March 4, 2013 elections despite recent skirmishes in parts of the country.

“We urge leaders to ask their supporters to be peaceful. We are also watching leaders issuing inflammatory remarks,” Mr Owino said.

Mr Owino said the planned police reforms is good and that the force is yearning for it

“It will end the situation where we are given a salary increment and yet it is not implemented,” Mr Owino said.

He said Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere is prepared for a smooth transition once an Inspector General of Police is appointed.

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7 Comments

Posted by on September 6, 2012 in Politics

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

7 responses to “Hate Speech Mongers Are Now On Notice

  1. salimlone@yahoo.com

    September 6, 2012 at 7:38 AM

    More good stuff Sam!
    Sent from my BlackBerry®

     
  2. emmanuel soreh

    September 6, 2012 at 10:58 AM

    keep up the spirit

     
  3. Joseph Carilus

    September 10, 2012 at 1:35 PM

    Hello. Good work Sam. On this one, I believe the fight against hate speech has become politicised. There are attempts by the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) to make people believe that it is working, yet this is not the case. Particularly, NCIC is grilling Hon. Mwakwere for hate speech, yet what he talked about is a fact and clearly does not border on hate speech. However, a lot of hate speech was spewed in Limuru 1 rally, as a certain tribe was being told to shut up, and a member of it was being called a fowl spirit and a devil; yet nothing was done. This unfortunate event was replicated in a Kamatusa meeting. Likewise, there are many political blogs that are awash with hate speech, yet CCK and all have been there. My take is that certain big politicians are being let to go scot-free, but their lieutenants are being targeted, to make it appear as if the NCIC is working. After all, no one will be hurt in this playful melee between NCIC and hate speech suspects since the threshold needed for the cases against these suspects will not have been met.

     
  4. emmanuel soreh

    September 16, 2012 at 4:00 AM

    am still waiting for more on the hate speech issues on how other countries deal with it

     
    • Samuel N. Omwenga

      September 16, 2012 at 3:25 PM

      Sorry Emmanuel I have not forgotten but still trying to find time to research and pen this one.

       

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