Politicians warned against zoning the country

The National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) has warned leaders against zoning the country into political enclaves as this could whip up ethnic animosity.

A Commissioner with the NCIC, Prof. Gitile Naituli argued that Kenya is the only stronghold for all political parties and all the independent candidates eyeing respective elective positions.

Prof. Naituli told a youth training forum on Conflict Resolution and Peaceful Elections held at a Kisumu hotel yesterday that political zoning was not a healthy campaign strategy as it could snowball into full scale ethnic animosity or culminate into voter apathy.

He said this approach being perpetuated by predominant political parties or coalitions was undemocratic and denied their rivals a chance to market themselves.

Prof. Naituli challenged all those aspiring to various elective positions to exercise restraint by allowing their opponents a free hand to traverse the country without unwarranted zoning.

The don also advised politicians to embrace alternative dispute resolution methods like dialogue and only proceed to legal approach where dialogue totally failed.

Another NCIC Commissioner, Adan Mohammed warned the politicians against propagating hate speech which has the potential to stir up violence.

Mohammed disclosed that they have instituted measures to track politicians during campaigns and anyone found culpable will be prosecuted.

The NCIC has trained intelligence officers who have been stationed in the 47 counties and are already monitoring all campaign rallies, he revealed.

The commissioner added that CID officers have been armed to the teeth with body cameras and audio recorders able to capture sound and video clips from as far as 200 meters.

Naituli and Mohammed further revealed that they have already prosecuted 12 cases on hate speech which are currently in court with four other cases which the NCIC lost over insufficient evidence have already been appealed.

The duo said the current hate speech allegations leveled against National Super Alliance (NASA) Presidential candidate, Raila Odinga were still under investigation and promised to issue a more comprehensive report on the sensitive matter this week.

Source: Kenya News Agency