The National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) Chairperson Francis Ole Kaparo has condemned the use of social media to spread hate speech and incitement messages as we head towards the general elections, adding that there is an ongoing crackdown on inciteful social media sites. Speaking to the press after a meeting with stakeholders involved in managing the elections, the NCIC Chair said some people are posting false information and pictures on social media, “There are terrible people in social media who are hell bent on causing unnecessary anxiety across the country,” he said.
He cited an example where a social media user posted a message that all Kikuyus must go to Central Province or else they’ll be eliminated. In another case, a Busia resident posted that all non-Kikuyus in Limuru will be slaughtered, “In conjunction with the police we are having a major crackdown on those who misuse social media,” he said.
Kaparo said that some Whatsapp groups have already been marked, “We have noticed 21 County Whatsapp platforms that have encouraged hate speech. The way to deal with them is to go individually to the administrators of those social media sites, we must deal with them because we must save this country,” he said.
Moreover, he said that IEBC should be given the space and time to deliver in the elections. “It’s a problem we’ve had for a year and a half, where the political class made voter theft the main agenda,” he said, “You can’t steal what is not available.”
He criticized the recent heckling incidences witnessed during campaigns, saying politicians must embrace a culture of tolerance, “You don’t organize goons to heckle your opponent. Every Kenyan interested in being elected has a right to be heard all over the Kenya.”