Iteere warning on hate speech
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By CYRUS OMBATI
Kenya police will monitor hate speech across the country before and after the referendum to avoid any violence as witnessed in 2007 General Elections.
Commissioner of Police Mathew Iteere told the National Cohesion and Integration Commission that he had directed the director of police operations, Julius Ndegwa, to monitor activities and take action on anyone who engages in hate speech.
Iteere made the remarks when he entered into an agreement with NCIC to prosecute people engaging in hate speech.
The move comes at a time when Kenyans are set to vote in the referendum on the Proposed Constitution in August.
NCIC chairman Dr Mzalendo Kibunja said the partnership with the police is aimed at making the force become agents of cohesion as is the case in Ireland where police are working with their national cohesion team in championing unity.
Kibunjia said police will develop a charge sheet to make people aware that even though the commission is headquartered in Nairobi, people can still report hate speech to any police station.
They also agreed that the police should make available to the commission information, especially on epicentres of conflict, so that the commission can intervene on time.
As a long-term measure, Dr Kibunjia said the commission is planning to develop a training manual for the police on national cohesion issues so that it can become part and parcel of their training.
said Dr Kibunjia.