Kenyan senator arrested over alleged hate speech

Kenyan senator arrested over alleged hate speech

A Kenyan senator has been arrested after being accused of promoting hate speech and “ethnic contempt” in a television interview.

Detectives led Ledama Olekina, the senator of Narok county, to the offices of the National Cohesion and Integration Commission for questioning.

The body has the power to prosecute anyone accused of promoting discrimination or violence against any ethnic, racial or religious group.

Critics say the commission is toothless, and so far failed to deter politicians from making controversial comments.

In the TV interview, Mr Olekina appeared to push for repossession of land from certain communities in regions occupied by the Maasai ethnic group.

He also spoke against other communities running for political office in Maasai-dominated regions.

Mr Olekina has defended his comments saying he was speaking for his people who have over the years been downtrodden by “privileged” Kenyans, and their land grabbed by “untouchable” politicians.

But his critics have pointed to the Kenyan constitution which allows Kenyans to live, work and own property in any part of the country.

Some have warned his comments could trigger ethnic conflict.

Source: BBC

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