Hate Speech: Why Kenyan Politicians Always Rely On Negative Utterances

Despite warnings and calls for politicians not to use hate speech during the campaign season, a few of them seem to be unable to pass on their message to the populace without inciting them against or attacking their opponents.

A few have already been arrested and charged but that has still not discouraged them and others from participating in such.

Read Also: People Who Spread Hate Speech Will Not Be Spared – Uhuru

One person who seems to not have learned his lesson is Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria who has once again been summoned to appear before the National Cohesion and Integration Commission over alleged hate speech.

The commission in a letter dated October 6, summoned the controversial MP to appear before it on Monday, October 9 at 11 am.

Kuria, while campaigning in Nakuru on September 25, allegedly told the Inspector General of Police, Joseph Boinnet, to shoot dead Opposition leader Raila Odinga and National Super Alliance supporters who would break the law during anti-IEBC demonstrations.

The MP told the police that their role is to protect the citizens, hence, they should not allow a certain group to continue to cause chaos in their protests.

“Mr Boinnet, the gun you have is not a pen. It has bullets and you should use it. The work of the police is to protect the citizens. If Raila Amollo Odinga will be the first to break the law tomorrow (September 26) then let him be shot dead,” Kuria told to the people.

A video of his speech has since gone viral on social media.

Following the summon letter, Kuria took to Facebook on Saturday morning saying: “So there is such a thing as inciting the police!”

The legislator was previously arrested along with former Machakos Senator Johnson Muthama over alleged hate speech early last month.

Kuria and Muthama was accused of directing Kiambu residents to drive out opposition supporters. They both spent a night at Pangani police station before being arraigned in court and released on a cash bail of Ksh 300,000 each.

Read Also: Fight Breaks Out As Police Arrest CORD MPs Over Hate Speech (Videos)

Another politician who has been summoned by the commission is Homa Bay Woman Representative Gladys Wanga.

Ms. Wanga has been summoned to appear on October 10 at the commission for interrogation over alleged hate speech.

“Pursuant to the complaint made against you, the Commission is investigating utterances allegedly made by you… Failure to appear is an offence,” said a letter signed by the NCIC CEO Hassan Mohamed.

Ms. Wanga’s utterances were allegedly made in one of the opposition’s political campaigns ahead of the October 26 repeat presidential election.

The Woman Rep allegedly linked President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto to the spread of cholera while making a speech on September 25.

With tension at an all time high in the country, the government is trying its best to crackdown on anyone participating and propagating such negative utterances in order to prevent large scale violence.

But Why Do Our Politicians Use Hate Speech?

Read Also: Government Investigating Hate Speech On Social Media Accounts

There are a few reasons why our politicians rely on hate speech. One, as mentioned above, is because of their inability to communicate or give proper manifestos to garner support.

With politics being seen as a way to riches and power by some, most of our politicians lack proper leadership abilities and therefore rely on basic human instinct of attacking the person (opponent) or his tribe, rather than criticising their policies.

This is the main reason why most of them do not perform well in debates or rather not show up at all to avoid embarrassment.

Another one is the fact that most of the populace, especially in the rural areas, do not understand policies and are only satisfied when they see someone they can relate to, that is of the same tribe or religion, in power.

This boils down to the governments of years past not investing in the education system in those areas leaving a huge gap between the educated and non-educated.