The National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) and the Judiciary are blaming each other over the lack of convictions in the hate speech cases prosecuted so far.
NCIC chairman Francis ole Kaparo yesterday heaped the blame on the Judiciary castigating it for ‘inaction’ on hate mongers.
Kaparo said his commission has several times asked the courts not to issue bonds especially on leaders accused of making hateful remarks but their pleas have never been heeded.
“The commission has on many occasions asked the courts not to give bonds but they have refused. I think you should asked the courts why they want to drive the country in the wrong direction,” Kaparo told reporters yesterday when asked why no senior politicians has been put behind bars over hate speech.
“Political utterances, ongoing ethnic balkanization and general intolerance by some politicians is alarming and misguided. The feeling some politicians can block other players from selling their agenda is a recipe for disaster worse than the 2007 elections. It has been done before and it’s a philosophy that had dire consequences,” Kaparo warned.
Chief Justice Willy Mutunga however defended the courts saying they only act on evidence provided.
“Courts only act on what evidence is presented. We should remember that justice begins from the executive through to the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions which provide us with evidence,” Mutunga said.
Mutunga said without evidence the courts cannot act contrary to the constitution hence asked all the players in the justice system to do their part.
“Both the ‘small fish’ and the ‘big fish’ have equal chance to access of justice if evidence is provided,” Mutunga said.
A part from the court system, the Kaparo led commission has no prosecutorial powers. Various amendments proposed by the commission in the NCIC Act in September last year are yet to be effected by parliament.
“The act was put in place quickly as part of Agenda Four. For example, what happens when we summon an accused and fails to come? What happens when they ignore the summons?” Kaparo posed.
He said the commission needs more powers to move the cases they have investigated forward.
Kaparo has admitted publicly that his commission is ‘toothless’ without the prosecutorial powers, a factor that may make the chances of those being prosecuted over hate speech evading the justice system.
“We are for the second time summoning the Gatundu South MP to appear before us and this time again we will appeal to the courts not to grant any bond should we move to that point,” Kaparo said.
Political analysts Barack Muluka also absolved the courts from blames saying the problem is with the society that condones injustice.
“You don’t expect justice from courts when as a society we have accepted injustice as a way of life,” Muluka said.
Muluka said the remarks made by legislators such as Moses Kuria are permitted by those in power who do nothing about it.
“Those close to power think they can do anything and get away with and we have seen that happening in this country,” Muluka said.
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