by Christine Lagat
NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenyan authorities
said on Monday that they will enhance monitoring and prosecution
of individuals spreading inflammatory messages to prevent
inter-communal hostilities ahead of August 8 general elections.
Hassan Mohamed, CEO of National Cohesion and Integration
Commission (NCIC) said that state agencies will intensify
vigilance during the campaign season to prevent spread of
divisive messages that may jeopardize peace and stability as
Kenya gears up for national polls in August.
"We have recruited additional personnel that have already
been deployed to all counties to monitor campaign language by
aspirants for various seats. Any contestant who incites
communities will be liable for prosecution," said Mohamed.
He spoke in Nairobi during a meeting with leading
broadcasters to discuss guidelines that should be adopted to
prevent conflict sensitive reporting ahead of August polls.
The East African nation is already on a campaign mode as
leaders from major political parties traverse the country to woo
voters ahead of August polls that are expected to be hotly
Mohamed emphasized that objective and fair reporting is key
to facilitate peaceful elections at local and national level.
"As a commission, we have partnered with key stakeholders in
government and the media to promote use of civil language by
aspirants campaigning for various elective posts," Mohamed said.
He revealed the government has acquired the technology to
monitor hate speech in political rallies and social media
"We have trained police officers and our monitors how to use
audio recorders and cameras in order for them to identify and
report cases of hate speech in real time," said Mohamed, adding
that vernacular radio stations that spread divisive messages
will be penalized.
Kenya’s ICT regulator will intensify vigilance to ensure that
aspirants from major political parties do not spread propaganda
and divisive rhetoric through traditional and new media
Francis Wangusi, director general of Communications Authority
of Kenya, said that media houses will be required to abide by a
stringent code of conduct to deter airing of content that would
compromise national security during this election season.
"We expect the media to champion peace and unity during this
electioneering period by denying a platform to individuals bent
on dividing the country along tribal and sectarian lines through
use of hateful language," Wangusi said.
He added the regulator will step up monitoring and law
enforcement to minimize spread of propaganda during this
Kenya’s polls body pledges
support for fair party nominations
by Christine Lagat NAIROBI (Xinhua)
-- Kenya’s electoral body said on
Monday that it will offer logistical support to enable major
political parties to conduct fair and peaceful nominations
slated for mid April, officials said on Monday.
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC)
CEO Ezra Chiloba said that a sound technical backup will enhance
the capacity of leading political parties to conduct flawless
nomination to select candidates that will vie for elective posts
during the Aug. 8 national polls.
"Free and fair party nominations are key to strengthen
democracy in the country and we are ready to be part of this
exercise that commences in the middle of April," Chiloba told
journalists in Nairobi.
The country’s electoral body recently announced that
political parties are required by law to conduct their primaries
in mid April to select candidates who will vie for local and
national elective posts during the August general elections.
Chiloba said discussions with major political parties on
modalities of conducting peaceful nominations are at an advanced
"We are exploring areas of collaboration with political
parties to strengthen their capacity to hold controversy free
primaries ahead of August national polls. The primaries are an
integral part of a democratic electoral process," said Chiloba.
Kenya’s major political parties that include the ruling
Jubilee Party (JP) and its opposition rival, National Super
Alliance (NASA) have sought the assistance of the electoral body
to enable them carry out credible nominations in mid April.
President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee Party early this year
requested the electoral body to oversee its primaries to prevent
malpractices that might jeopardize its chances of reclaiming
The mega opposition outfit is yet to declare whether the
electoral body will oversee its primaries.
Chiloba clarified the electoral body is not mandated by the
constitution to conduct party nominations but can only lend
technical and logistical support to ensure they are successful.
"It is our hope that political parties have sound internal
systems to facilitate peaceful primaries but we are ready to
assist them achieve that objective," Chiloba said.
Kenyans will on August 8 troop polling stations countrywide
to elect representatives of national and local governments that
include the president, lawmakers and ward representatives.
Pundits have predicted a hotly contested election that will
test the east African nation’s political stability and economic