NCIC calls for an end to Azimio political rallies
The National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) has called on Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya coalition to stop ongoing political rallies dubbed "people's barazas".
In a statement on Thursday, February 2, NCIC Chairman Samuel Kobia said the rallies are being used to divide Kenyans along ethnic lines.
"We reiterate our effort to ensure that we do not slide back to divisive politics that will derail our socio-economic development.
"Leaders who speak at these political rallies must be aware that they will be held personally responsible for their utterances while at political rallies.
"This is the stance that the commission has taken and will execute without fear or favor. We are calling upon all leaders to stop utterances that can lead to ethnic animosity.
"As a commission, we shall endeavour to ensure that Kenya remains united, peaceful and cohesive to attain a just and equitable society living in peace, unity, and dignity," he said.
Kobia said Kenyans have moved on after the general election and are demanding for a peaceful environment to continue building their livelihoods.
"Kenyans are demanding a conducive environment to allow them to rebuild their livelihoods. Disrupting peace and cohesion will derail the positive gains that we have achieved as a country.
"Kenya's economy is the biggest in the region primarily because of the country's political stability.
"This must be jealously guarded because if it is destroyed it will take a long time to recover and the accompanying social and economic consequences will be dire," he said.
NCIC on 2022 general election
The NCIC boss said the 2022 general election was the most peaceful compared to previous ones.
"We wish to emphasise that the 2022 General Elections were the most peaceful compared to previous elections.
"Monitoring and evaluation by both national and international election observers affirmed this finding in their reports.
"With elections behind us. we are happy that Kenyans accepted the results and have moved on with their daily lives," he added.
He said Kenya has continued to enjoy good relationship with the international community owing to its political stability.
"Similarly Kenya enjoys good relations with the international community owing to our political stability, and social cohesiveness.
"The economic dividends and the special place in the community of nations derived therefrom should not be taken for granteIt is disturbing to note that there is re-emergence of political incitement and hate speech by some of the polititical leaders," he said.
At the same time, Kobia said the commission has flagged 10 hate speech and 20 misinformation cases this year alone compared to three cases in November and December 2022.
"This is an indication that hate speech and ethnic contempt are a result of the recent political rallies.
"Consequently, the commission together with other law enforcement agencies are closely monitoring to ensure Kenyans are not divided along ethnic lines and political beliefs.
"As a commission, we shall endeavor to ensure all perpetrators of hate speech. ethnic contempt and incitement to violence are duly summoned and investigated according to the existing laws," he stated.