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Social media violence instigators warned

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[Coast RC John Elungata addressing residents of Odha in Tana Delta sub-county of Tana River. Photo/Haramo Ali].

The government has issued a stern warning to those inciting violence and sharing inflammatory messages on social media in the run up to the August, 9th, 2022 general election.

Coast Regional Commissioner (RC) John Elungata said the state will deal mercilessly with those instigating ethnic hatred and incitement to violence regardless of their station in life.

Elungata said the government is monitoring social media platforms and that the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) is on the lookout for any criminality perpetuated online.

He also said hate speech will come under intense focus as the country hurtles towards next year’s high stakes general election.

He advised politicians and opinion leaders to desist from hate speech that could inflame passions and create animosity among the diverse communities in the region.

Residents

“We urge the residents to resist being used by rogue politicians and ethnic demagogues to disrupt peace and tranquillity in the county” he said, adding that Kenyans should cherish the peace they have and refuse to be lured into electoral violence by self-seeking politicians and ethnic demagogues.

Elungata spoke in Odha location, Tana Delta sub-county of Tana River County when he joined a welcoming party for Interior Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Hussein Dado.

Dado, a former Tana River Governor, had been away for six months due to a hip joint injury and had to undergo specialised treatment in India to enable him to walk again.

Elungata who is also the regional security and intelligence committee Chairperson directed the security agencies in the region to be on the lookout for persons with the intention to incite violence for selfish political gains.

“The DCI will be monitoring social media sites for warlike political speeches as the country hurtles to the high stakes elections next year” he warned.

Elungata underscored the need to promote social media platforms in a way that does not jeopardize national security through propaganda for war, hate speech and incitement to violence.

He asked politicians in the county to be mindful of what they say in public and warned they will be punished for utterances that risk peaceful co-existence in the region.