Jan 25, 2022

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

Tough hate speech proposals languish on shelf as campaigns heat up

The Administrative and National Security Committee had proposed several amendments to the law of the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) in February of last year.

Among them is the increase in prison sentences for offenders from the current maximum of five a minimum of five years and a maximum of 20 years and a low fine of Sh1 million.

At a meeting between lawmakers and NCIC in Mombasa, the two sides also agreed to ensure that hate speech cases are resolved within six months.

Another suggestion is that offenders resign from public office until their cases are resolved. And if found guilty, they will be permanently banned from public office.

Legislators also agreed to anchor a proposal to make it criminal not to obey a subpoena from the NCIC , a move that aims to make the agency more powerful in fulfilling its mandate.

But almost a year after the proposals were tabled, little progress was made in adoption, with NCIC legislators responsible for the delays Homa Bay Town Rep. Peter Kaluma, a member of the committee, announced yesterday to the nation that the panel had approved all proposals and NCIC would refine them but never came back.

Harsher penalties for hate makers

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Mr Kaluma, who chaired a subcommittee that included the NCIC legal team that was supposed to table amendments, said the matter was a matter of cohesion s committee.

“We all approved the changes and imposed even harsher penalties for hate makers. NCIC should introduce the tightened amendments and send back the bills to be published, “he said.

” We haven’t heard from them since. I heard that they decided to wind up the draft law through the Equal Opportunities Committee. We wish them all the best. ”

But NCIC Commissioner Danvas Makori announced to the nation that they have accepted all the measures proposed by the Security Committee but have decided to merge them with another bill that is also in the Senate was submitted.

“Since the Senate also had another bill on NCIC, we decided to consult it for approval so that we would have a single bill containing all of the amendments for consideration by the National Assembly,” said Dr. Makori.

He said NCIC had met with National Assembly and Senate spokespersons on the bill and they approved it.

Maina Kamanda, Chair of the National Cohesion and Integration Committee , told the nation that it passed the matter and waited for the proposals to be considered by the House of Representatives.

Linturi’s inflammatory remarks

“We had the Speaker and the Business Committee of the House of Representatives the proposals for planning presented in the order paper for debate. It’s one of the items on the agenda that needs to be considered when the House is resuming meetings, “said Kamanda.

” This is something the House can discuss and adopt in a day. “

As the campaigns gain momentum in 2022, more politicians are expected to find themselves on the wrong side of the law because of their loose tongues.

In one of the most recent cases, Meru became Senator Mithika Linturi Arrested for questioning after making inflammatory remarks at a rally in Uasin Gishu County on Saturday.

Section 96 of the Criminal Code provides that offenders found guilty of disseminating hate speech are sentenced to no more than imprisonment . punished for five years

But the lack of clarity on how digital evidence can be admitted as evidence continues to prevent prosecutors from pinning suspects.

A review of past hate speech cases shows that most of them were dropped for lack of evidence. Others failed because prosecutors were unable to produce witnesses, particularly when inflammatory statements were made public through internet videos.

Some of the accused left the courts free after challenging the constitutionality of the law it enacted It is a criminal offense to spread ethnic hatred.

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