National Cohesion and Integration Commission Response on Hate Speech
Charges against Hon. Peter Mwathi, Hon. Gideon Mbuvi Sonko and
Minister Bon. Jamleck Irungu Kamau
- The National Cohesion and Integration (NCI) Act, 2008 has given the National Cohesion and Integration Commission broad objects and functions '. One such area is to investigate complaints of ethnic or racial discrimination or any issue affecting ethnic and racial relations and make recommendations to relevant authorities on remedial measures, among others.
- Section 13 and 62 of the NCI Act has criminalised the offences of hate speech, racial and ethnic contempt
- Therefore under section 59(1) of the NCIAct the Commission monitored a rally which took place on 2nd February 2012 at Kinoru Stadium in Meru County.
- During the rally, which was attended by many public opiruon leaders, Members of Parliament and religious leaders including the three MPs namely; Hon. Jamleck Kamau, Hon. Gideon Mbuvi (Sonko) and Peter Mwathi. While addressing the crowd the three Members of Parliament afore mentioned made utterances which contravened Sections 13 and 62 the NCI Act
- The Commission investigated the utterances which were made during the rally at Kinoru Stadium. The Commission thereafter served the three Hon. Members with summons to appear before the Commission's investigation officers on various dates.
- On the 11th day of April 2012, at 3.00 pm in Delta House, Hon. Peter Mwathi appeared and recorded a statement under enquiry on allegations of racial contempt contrary to Sec. 62 (1) of the NCIAct.
- On the 16th day of April 2012, Hon. Jamleck Irungu Kamau recorded his statement under enquiry into allegations of ethnic contempt contrary to Sec. 62 (1) of the NCIAct.1Section 25 NCI Act no 12 of 2008
- On the 17thday of April 2012, Hon. Gideon Kioko Mbuvi alias Mike Sonko, recorded his statement under enquiry into allegations of hate speech contrary to Section 13 (1) (e)of the NCI act
- The Commission was impressed with the prompt response by the Hon. Members to the summons served upon them and their cooperation during the investigations.
- .Upon the conclusion of the said investigations, the duplicate file was forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions for advise and further action and/ or directives.
- .Under the provisions of the NCI Act the Commission has the mandate to investigate the offences of Hate Speech, Racial and Ethnic contempt and make appropriate recommendations to the relevant government departments including the officeof the DPP. (i) Upon the perusal of the investigation file as forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), his advice thereto is supposed to be communicated officially to the Commission in writing.(ii) Once the Commission receives such a communication from the office of DPP it will carry out the directions of the DPP as instructed.
- Regarding this particular case, the advice sought from the DPP has not been communicated, other than the statements appearing in a section of media.
- The NCICrecognizes that it is the preserve of the DPP to advise, prosecute and enforce the provisions as outlined in the NCIAct.
- During the investigation, the Commission also took the opportunity to inform the Hon. Members on the provisions under Section 49 (1) of the NCI Act that states ' If the Commission considers it reasonably possible that a complaint may be conciliated successfully, the Commission shall refer the complaint to the Commission Secretary'.
Mzalendo N. Kibunjia, PhD, EBS