The National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) will work closely with security agencies in the North Rift Region in sensitizing the residents on how to handle hate speech.
The Commission Peace Coordinator Susan Kegode and Uasin Gishu County Commissioner Stephen Kihara said it was important to manage hate speech so as it does not plunge the country into chaos.
Addressing the press after leading a sensitization meeting with chiefs and their assistants at an Eldoret hotel Thursday, the two officials said the government was not taking any chances with the country’s peace considering the rising political temperatures over the 2022 elections.
Kegode said they decided to reach out to chiefs as they resided among the people at the grassroots level and knew the happenings at their areas of jurisdiction on a daily basis.
She added that they would also reach out to religious leaders and Nyumba Kumi members to help in preaching peace in their localities.
“From the goings on, premature campaigns have already started rising unnecessary political tensions and we hope the Nyumba Kumi and religious leaders will be our goodwill ambassadors in preaching peaceful coexistence among all Kenyans,” said Kegode.
Uasin Gishu County is one of the regions that was hard hit during the 2007/08 post-election violence where several lives were lost and more than 600,000 people were displaced.
Council of Imams and preachers of Kenya North Rift Chairman Abubakar Bini cautioned the political class against incitement and hate speech during their rallies for political expediency.
The Muslim Cleric expressed fear over increased polarisation between ethnic groups and political camps which he said is intensifying tension and apprehension in the region and yet it was too early for the 2022 general election.
He urged the NCIC to take stern action against politicians propagating hate speech so as not to be viewed as a toothless dog that does not bite.