KENYA: Religious Leaders Urge Government to Clamp down on Hate Mongers

NAIROBI JUNE 14, 2016(CISA) – Religious leaders in Kenya have called on the government to curb hate speech and war mongering in the country.

“We have taken note of the rising cases of hate speech and war mongering associated with particular politicians. This trend is worrying and must not be allowed to take root in the country’s political culture,” the religious leaders during a press briefing at Ol Lerai Jumuia Place, Nairobi June 14.

In a statement read by Bishop Cornelius Korir, Chairman of the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops-Catholic Justice and Peace Commission (CJPC) and Canon Peter Karanja, General Secretary of National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK), the leaders called for arrest and speedy prosecution of those involved in hate speech and war mongering.

“Considering that the country is preparing for the general elections next year, all pending cases of hate speech must be dealt with expeditiously and those found culpable convicted,” said the religious leaders.

They further called on the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Inspector General of Police and the Judiciary to ensure that they do not enforce the law selectively on the culprits.

On June 13, police arrested members of Parliament from the Jubilee coalition Moses Kuria, Kimani Ngunjiri, Ferdinand Waititu whereas Coalition for Reforms and Democracy (CORD) MPs Aisha Jumwa, Timothy Bosire and Junet Mohammed were nabbed June 14.

The six legislators were alleged to have made inciting remarks. Police were also said to be probing Machakos Senator Johnson Muthama over similar charges.

“As the main institutions constitutionally mandated to enforce the law, you must make it clear to all Kenyans that committing a crime is an expensive engagement,” the leaders said adding that “the three institutions must urgently consult each other on how to handle hate speech cases.” “Our strong recommendation is that all cases that come to the courts be prosecuted and dispensed within not more than two weeks,” said the leaders.

The leaders were drawn from Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops(KCCB),The National Council of churches of Kenya(NCCK),Evangelical Alliance of Kenya(EAK),Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims(SUPKEM),National Muslim Leaders Forum(NAMLEF),Organization of Africa Instituted Churches(OAIC),and Seventh Day Adventist Church.

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