Police issue new warning to online hate mongers

During the campaigns before the August 8 General Election, State agencies had warned Kenyans against tribal hatred.

The National Police Service and the National Cohesion and Integration Commission warned that anyone spreading hate speech on WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms would be arrested and charged.

Indeed, some people among them WhatsApp group administrators, bloggers and even social media users were arrested and charged.

After the elections though, the tribal bigotry is becoming rampant, especially among two groups affiliated to top rival politicians.

NOTCH HIGHER

On Sunday, NCIC chairman, Francis ole Kaparo said that the commission was worried that the hatred had gone a notch higher after the Supreme Court’s verdict on Friday, nullifying the presidential election.

“We are aware that this is happening on social media and our officers are doing their investigations and we will apprehend a number of people,” Mr Kaparo said.

He asked Kenyans to be responsible and mind their language saying that it takes a collective responsibility to fight tribalism.

“I equally appeal to politicians to tone down on the rhetoric that fuel this hatred. They should respect the court’s decision and allow for the authorities to do their work,” the NCIC chairman said.

CRACKDOWN
He added that several people have been arrested in the past and the commission was after more.

National Police Service spokesman George Kinoti said a crackdown on hatemongers had started and that the police would arrest and charge many people this week.

“We have the National Cohesion and Integration Act, the Communications Act and the Penal Code which will help us deal with these people,” Mr Kinoti said.

He said police would go after known perpetrators and use the Cybercrime Investigation Unit to go after those who use pseudo accounts to spew hatred.

The spokesman admitted that the hatred was becoming too much, but promised that the police would conduct a crackdown on politicians and the public.

BITTER COMMENTS

Earlier on Sunday morning, a post by a sports journalist Carol Radull, appealing for a blood donation on behalf of a patient admitted at the Kikuyu Hospital was met with bitter comments from a section of Kenyans.

“Urgent Blood Appeal: Kikuyu Hospital Patient Grace Wangui Mwangi needs O– blood urgently. Kindly assist if you can. Thank you,” Ms Radull posted on Twitter.

But immediately after her post, a reply saying Kenyans are not one among other unprintable words led to a chain of responses full of hate.

Although some of the remarks were met with shock and anger, they revealed a deeper problem.

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