The National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) has condemned recent cases of violence reported in the country amid rising political temperatures ahead of the 2022 General Election.
In a statement to newsrooms on Tuesday, NCIC Chairman Samuel Kobia warned politicians against inciting supporters to lock out opponents from their regions.
Kobia cited an incident where a group of rowdy youth blocked Senator Gideon Moi from accessing a part of Nandi on January 2, 2021.
In another incident that occurred in the same month, a clash between ODM leader Raila Odinga’s supporters and those of the Deputy President in Githurai left several people injured.
This past weekend, September 5, Kobia said, Ruto’s motorcade was stoned in Naro Moru, Nyeri County.
The country’s second in command was also blocked from accessing two churches in the area.
“This is clearly therefore a worrying trend that is forming,” said Kobia.
“The NCIC would like to remind Kenyans that all politicians have a right to spread ideas to all parts of the country. This is the best way for us as a nation to weigh our options as we approach 2022. We must as early as now reject these acts of intolerance which if not checked will degenerate into violence.”
NCIC says the commission working jointly with the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) won’t hesitate to prefer criminal charges against politicians found contravening the directive.
“It is with this in mind that we would like to warn politicians who have decided to lock their regions and make them unapproachable for their competitors to be ashamed of themselves and that we will be filing criminal charges should we find any of them responsible for such acts of intolerance,” he added.
The politicians will also be required to control their supporters as they too will face the full force of the law.
“We must remember that it is trends that will make things better or worse in the run-up to the 2022 elections. If we make a trend for tolerance then we can be sure our nation will be peaceful. If however, we focus on intolerance or indeed abuses like the recent regrettable comments by an MP who used unprintable abuses in reference to the President then we are headed in the wrong direction,” said Kobia.
“We must therefore condemn in the strongest terms these acts of intolerance and the use of abusive language on the national stage. As the NCIC in conjunction with the DCI we are looking into these matters with the view of filing criminal charges against the people behind these regrettable and barbaric acts.”