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Kenyan Lawmakers, Minister Charged with Hate Speech

A Kenyan court has charged two members of parliament and a government minister with committing hate speech while campaigning against the country's proposed new constitution.

Lawmakers Fred Kapondi and Joshua Kutuny, and Assistant Roads Minister Wilfred Machage, were released Wednesday after each paid bail of about $1,250.

All three pleaded not guilty during a court hearing in Nairobi.

The three men were arrested Tuesday and charged with making inflammatory remarks during a rally last week.

Political tension is running high in Kenya as an August 4 referendum on the new constitution draws near. On Sunday, multiple explosions struck a Nairobi rally against the proposed charter, killing six people and wounding more than 100.

No one has claimed responsibility for the blasts. A group of Kenyan churches against the new constitution blamed the violence on the government, which strongly supports the constitutional reform.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.