The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has promised to be vigilant to ensure that incitement to violence online is tamed especially during the electioneering period.

Speaking at a workshop with bloggers, Senior Prosecution Counsel Duncan Ondimu said they will ensure that anyone who incites violence and hate speech on social media is dealt with accordingly.

“The law is clear on limitations on freedom of expression. We will be tough on Kenyans who take to social media to spew hate and incite others,” he said.

Article 33 (2) of the Constitution stipulates that incitement to violence, propaganda to war, hate speech and advocacy to hatred are not permissible.

Ondimu was quick to add that what has been missing in successfully prosecuting hate speech cases has been the poor handling of electronic evidence. In addition, the directorate has suffered from lack of support from Kenyans and media outlets that decline to come out and help authenticate the information, like videos.

He was responding to concerns over lack of prosecutions of hate speech cases against politicians like Hon. Moses Kuria.

The training on internet and law was hosted by the Bloggers Association of Kenya with the support from CIPESA and Swedish International  Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).

The lead trainer, Mugambi Laibuta, an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya challenged the DPPs office to seek ways of enlightening the public on how to preserve electronic evidence to ensure they can be useful and assist in successfully prosecuting cases. He added that currently the manner in which hate speech cases are being terminated sends a wrong signal and mischievous Kenyans can take advantage and use social media to fan violence.

Ondimu asserted that they will provide contact details and have 24 hour communication channels for Kenyans to use to report hate speech, incitement to violence and other cases they see online.