From: joachim omolo ouko
News Dispatch with Father Omolo Beste
FRIDAY, JUNE 20, 2014
Lorene from Bungoma writes: “Fr Beste what do you say about the order by the Director of Public Prosecutions that Gatundu South parliamentary aspirant Moses Kuria should be prosecuted for hate speech. Do you think this can end hate speech in Kenya?
A statement posted on the DPP’s Twitter account says Kuria will face charges following recommendations by the National Cohesion and Integration Commission. He is accused for having posted inflammatory remarks in a Facebook conversation.
The Law Society of Kenya has also written to Tobiko, seeking to have two Members of Parliament investigated for hate speech, Othaya MP Mary Wambui and her Starehe counterpart Maina Kamanda for remarks they made recently on Cord leader Raila Odinga that he went to America for military training how to remove Uhuru from power, and that he came with grenades to kill particular ethnic communities.
I also saw yesterday on KTN news at 7pm Mohamed Ali showing Aden Duale on the top of his voice openly abusing Raila and Luo people in Parliament, and how Raila is shedding blood of innocent people in order to take power from Uhuru. Millie Odhiambo was annoyed with Duale’s remarks and angrily talked on top of her voice.
Mohamed also showed the clip where Otieno Kajwang was openly abusing Uhuru Kenyatta in public. Surely Father, where is our beloved country Kenya leading us? I am just disgusted and tired of these hate speech from our politicians. They just incite Kenyans along tribal and religious line. This should stop.”
Thank you for this concern Lorene. I was also as disgusted as I watched that clip on KTN, especially when Kamanda said: “I want to tell Raila that all members of the Kikuyu community will protect Uhuru’s Presidency by all means necessary, even if it means shedding blood.
The fact that we are silent does not mean that we don’t know what is happening. I urge you all to be ready to respond when we sound the warning. We must defend the Uhuru Government,” Kamanda was seen saying in public. This is of course the first class hate that we should not allow in Kenya.
Wambui was also seen saying: “You have been sleeping and the time has come for you to wake up. We cannot allow this man to destabilise this country the same way South Sudan is going.” Kamanda was accompanied by MPs Kareke Mbiuki (Maara), Francis Waititu (Juja), Chege Njoroge (Kasarani), Ben Mutura (Makadara), Richard Tongi (Nyaribari Chache), Kimani Inchung’wa (Kikuyu) and George Theuri (Embakasi West).
DDP also ordered Mombasa the arrest of Women’s Representative, Mishi Juma for hate incitement speech during Madaraka Day celebrations. Last year James Orengo of Siaya, and Otieno Kajwang’ of Homa Bay were also ordered to appear in court for hate speech.
The two ODM Senators were alleged to have incited former Prime Minister, Raila Odinga, to overthrow the Government of President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy, William Ruto, when the two would both be at The Hague attending their trials at the International Criminal Court (ICC) at the same time. They urged Raila to prepare to take over power once the two jailbirds would be away in The Hague.
The reason why such hate speeches cannot end in Kenya Lorene, is because nothing is done to them whenever such prosecutions are made. Former Assistant Roads Minister Wilfred Machage (now Migori Senator) was charged with inciting hatred but could not be jailed even after Mwai Kibaki suspending him from his ministry.
Along with two other MPs, he was charged with hate speech during the campaign for a new constitution. They allegedly said some ethnic groups would have to leave their land if the constitution was approved.
By then Higher Education Minister William Ruto (now deputy president) was among three MPs accused of hate speech but not charged. Mr Ruto was alleged to have asked Muslims to reject the proposed constitution if they do not want a war with Christians.
NCIC chairman Mzalendo Kibunjia wanted the politicians to be prosecuted quickly after the experience of 2008 but this has never been successful, thus frustrating the office of the NCIC. This is the same with former Environment Minister Chirau Mwakwere who was accused of hate speech but late cleared of the charges.
In the case, Mwakwere was alleged to have made a speech, during a by-election campaign in his constituency in July 2010, to the effect that indigenous coastal people have been oppressed by Arabs.
Be assured Lorene, that when it comes to social media hate speech cannot be controlled. This is because internet users, especially young people in particular, have found social media, particularly Facebook as their right to perceive their online interactions as benefitting from the freedoms of expression and information.
Another reason why you cannot control hate speech on social media in Kenya is because of accumulated anger since 1992 ethnic violence to date. Many Kenyans are so angry to the extent that they do not care whether you charge them or not.
Anger comes about when one feels that his or her basic boundaries are violated. That is why most social media users use it to react to anger through retaliation. People feel angry when they sense that they or someone they care about has been offended.
Fr Joachim Omolo Ouko, AJ
Tel +254 7350 14559/+254 722 623 578