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11 Sep 2017

Lawmaker, Former Senator Detained Over Hate Speech Allegations

A spokesman for the Interior ministry said on Monday that a former opposition senator and a lawmaker from the ruling party, were detained by the Police over hate speech.
File photo: President Uhuru Kenyatta
Kenyan police detained a lawmaker from the ruling party and a former opposition senator on Monday over allegations of hate speech, a spokesman for the interior ministry said.

Reported instance of hate speech have raised sharply since September 1, when the Supreme Court annulled the results of August 8 presidential election.

The surprise ruling, the first of its kind in Africa, voided the win of incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta, citing irregularities in the tallying process.

“Moses Kuria, a member of parliament and Johnson Muthama, a former senator, have been arrested on hate speech allegations,” ministry spokesman, Mwenda Njoka said by phone.

Mr. Njoka did not give details on why the two politicians had been arrested, and police did not respond to queries.

Last week, Mr. Kuria gave a public speech calling for a “manhunt” for supporters of veteran opposition leader Raila Odinga, who had greeted the court ruling with jubilation.

Two witnesses described to Reuters a roadblock set up the next day near where Mr. Kuria gave his speech, where ruling party supporters checked the ethnicity of passengers in vehicles to see if they might be opposition supporters.

Politics in Kenya often follows ethnic lines.

On Sunday, Mr. Muthama, a former senator for the opposition Wiper party, gave a speech peppered with insults aimed at Kenyatta.

“When you (Uhuru) are drinking your alcohol, when you are getting drunk, stop thinking we are children of a monkey,” Mr. Muthama said according to a recording posted on YouTube.

(Reuters/NAN)

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