Lamu county commissioner warns politicians against hatespeech

Lamu county commissioner Joseph Kanyiri addresses journalists at a past function PHOTO COURTESY

Lamu,KENYA:Lamu county commissioner Joseph Kanyiri has warned that his office will arrest and prosecute any politician found spreading hate messages that might cause tension in the county irrespective of their social standing.

Kanyiri said that any political gatherings or campaigns that will not observe peace will promptly be dispersed by police.

Speaking in his office in Lamu on Tuesday,he said his office will ensure there is peace in Lamu before,during and after elections by all means possible and that any individual who will try to bring tension will be dealt with in order to serve as an example to the rest.

The commissioner’s warning comes a day after Coast Regional Coordinator issued a statement listing Lamu as one of the counties where possible election violence could erupt.

Kanyiri said now that the campaign period was officially on,his officers were keeping a close eye on all politicians to ensure the follow the law to the latter.

He has also instructed assistant county commissioners,chiefs and their assistants to look out for such politicians and have them arrested and charged for incitement.

The commissioner also called upon the locals to snub meetings and campaign rallies of people known to spread nothing but hate and negative energy and who threaten to divide them along tribal and religious lines saying the peace and stability was bigger than that.

“There must be peace in Lamu whether elections are there or not.As such am warning all politicians out there to either heed to the law or they will have themselves to blame when we arrested them and charge them for incitement.Lamu is bigger than anybody’s political ambitions,”said Kanyiri.

He also warned against the practice of politicians hiring and walking around with armed goons in the guise of security during political campaigns and meetings when the objective was to intimidate and cause trouble.

Kanyiri said it was his duty to ensure all political gatherings are well secured and not the mandate of goons.

“politicians will only need to notify us of when they intend to hold their rallies and we will ensure there are enough police officers to provide security.we don’t want to see goons anywhere close to such gatherings or else we will arrest them plus whoever they work for,”he said.

Tana River and Kilifi counties have already been identified alongside Lamu as hotspots for potential violence ahead of the August 8 General Election.