News / Africa

Kenya Group Worried Over Rising Tension

Residents walk near the scene of an explosion targeting a political dias in Kenya's northern town of Garissa, February 17, 2013.
Residents walk near the scene of an explosion targeting a political dias in Kenya's northern town of Garissa, February 17, 2013.
Peter Clottey
The chairman of Kenya’s Law Society (KLS) says he is worried about rising ethnic tensions in parts of the country ahead of the March 4 general election.

“We have got this information from our Law Society branch offices and we have also gotten this information from the local media where when you look at some spots you will find that this ethnic group is more or less agitating and supporting one candidate as opposed to the other,” said Eric Mutua. “In some areas, some groups would invade the other group and there would be killings and burning of houses.”

Mutua called on the government to prosecute political leaders or individuals who incite the public to engage in acts of violence as next month’s vote approaches.

“We are alerting the government that this is an area you need to watch because it is the government which has the capacity to make sure that these kinds of tensions are brought down,” said the Law Society chief.

He said members of the KLS plan to organize education campaigns to make Kenyans aware of the need to ensure a peaceful vote.

Mutua’s comments came after the the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) acknowledged rising tension between different communities in Naivasha in the run up to the poll. The NCIC has since sent officials to resolve tensions and any possible conflict there.

 “There are some people who have purchased certain machetes from super markets in an unusual manner. We get worried because we want to tell the government that there is need now to watch this area and investigate so that we can arrest the situation there,” said Mutua.

Some Kenyans have expressed worry that heated political rhetoric during campaigning for the election could trigger violence.

“We are actually cautioning the political class, especially the presidential candidates, that they need to be careful and watch what they utter before the public. Because their words could be interpreted in a more dangerous manner, especially if they say that there is a plan to rig the election. That kind of pronouncement is very dangerous,” said Mutua.

The NCIC also says it has stepped up efforts to recommend the prosecution of groups or individuals who incite violence during the poll.

Four hundred monitors, 290 police officers and 110 volunteers from community-based organizations have been trained and will monitor hate speech, according to the NCIC.

Mutua says the government needs to take all necessary measures to prevent a repeat of the 2007-2008 post-election violence.
Clottey interview with Eric Mutua, chairman of Kenya’s Law Society (KLS)
Clottey interview with Eric Mutua, chairman of Kenya’s Law Society (KLS) i
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs