Posted by: Family Media | July 20, 2010

What is and who defines hate speech?

The journey of getting a new constitution has been long and rough for the country. Many are the times that the politicians have used the podiums to advance their own interests or the interests of a given community. As a result, the country has been divided along tribal and religious lines. Innocent people have ended up being the victims, the spirit of brotherhood has weathered away, and hate speech has been witnessed in some parts of the country.

The implications have been far reaching prompting the government to establish a National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) to promote equality of opportunity, good relations, harmony and peaceful co-existence among people of different ethnic and racial backgrounds in the country. They are also responsible for ensuring that the vice of hate speech becomes history.

The NCIC have been able to investigate and take to court some leaders. However, questions arise. It being a government organ, are they a government tool in a different format? How independent are they from the government? And how far do their powers extend?

What is hate speech? Is there a definite definition of this term that is slowly becoming ambiguous by the day? And who defines hate speech?



  1. Hate speech is any utterance that can course hatred or any negative reaction between people.
    The government should define it but should do so across the board.not on party positions or opinion of the said person.

  2. Hate speech refers to utterances made by individuals that sparks up rivalry/violence between parties/groups.
    The government should be able to define the line between hate speech but this same government clearly doesn’t understand its role mandate at this…..who will save us oh Kenya?its rather hopeless to count on this already compromised government.

  3. the first set of politicians were aligned in court for the so called hate speech a couple of weeks ago and 90% happened to be advocates of NO! suggesting the the cohesion team is also a project of GOK! Hate speech continues from both sides of divide with no action. Suggesting that the arrests were meant divert attention of Kenyans on the Uhuru Park Blasts! Let us remember the words of the Lord to the House of Israel in 2 Chronicles 7:14-15

  4. hate speech is any implied words that are deemed offensive or a threat to some one well being.The one to define what constitutes hate speech are human rights watch groups and the government.

  5. Hate speech refers to,an utterance that incites people.Kenyans beware for you are being mislead by the politician to fight&regret for ur actions later.

  6. Prior to the past election, Some media houses were holding debates in different cities within the country. In some of the so called debates, many people would say things passionately making it possible for one to punch another. However analyzing some of the things that were said then and the aftermath of the disputed elections, we as Kenyans seem to either be suffering from amnesia or we are a very forgiving people.

    Before we can tackle hate speech, can we have people of integrity in public offices who will be men and women enough to stand by what they have said instead of saying “I was misquoted”? Because even with the evidence- Cameras never lie on camera the same people move out to say they were misquoted.

    The root of hate speech is also rooted in the system of government. Bringing a law on hate speech; wouldn’t it open the door for people who are not politically correct to be put under jeopardy? Will it not destroy the same thing it was meant to nurture?

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