Judiciary Has Concluded 9 Out Of 21 Hate Speech Cases – CJ Koome

Judiciary Has Concluded 9 Out Of 21 Hate Speech Cases – CJ Koome

BY JOAN WANJIKU,NAIROBI,15TH JUNE,2022-Chief Justice Martha Koome says the Judiciary has concluded hearing nine out of twenty-one hate speech related cases under the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) Act.

Speaking during the launch of The Kenya National Action Plan against Hate Speech, Koome expressed the Judiciary’s commitment to fast tracking the hearing of all hate speech cases before the General Elections.

“Two files are being investigated by the office of the Judiciary Ombudsman as they were reported missing and 1 case which was wrongly referenced,” she said.

Koome pointed out that the Judiciary has been working on a plan to operationalize special election offenses courts focusing on hate speech in areas identified by NCIC as hotspots by using special magistrates to handle election offenses as gazetted in February.

“I committed to extend special jurisdiction to additional Magistrates covering Nairobi (Milimani), Meru (Nkubu), Mombasa, Kisumu, Kakamega, Nyeri, Eldoret, and recently, Nakuru. The public is being sensitized those offenses related to hate speech can be filed and fast-tracked in these Courts,” she said.

NCIC Chairperson, Samuel Kobia indicated that they have deployed over 50 cohesion monitors across 47 counties that will be playing an active role in collecting, analyzing and cross-referencing early warning information for hate speech and incitement in public forums such as campaign rallies and religious gatherings.

“This early warning information will be supplemented by reports from community perception surveys that will be conducted by Amnesty International and available to Uwian Peace Partners,” he said.

“This helps in identifying the sentiments on how hate speech could trigger violence in the elections if we don’t take precaution.”

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