ODM Director of Communication Phillip Etale has been summoned by the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) over social media posts he made during the Kibra by-election campaigns.
It is undeniable that social media was awash with vitriol and incitement.
Lawyer Donald Kipkorir baptized election violence as “instant justice”. And some of his readers were quick to disagree. Azuki Sirkal replied:
“Now you’re celebrating violence while in a very safe place far from the violence. How a lawyer is appreciating mob justice for offenders beats logic. You know anybody can be a victim of mob justice because [in] volatile places like Kibra any slight disinformation is enough to fuel it.”
But Kipkorir was not alone in posting views that appeared to condone violence.
“Vote buyers have retreated to Show Ground polling station next to the railway line and 42 area. Kindly vijana swing [into] action. Hapa hakuna huruma.” [No mercy.]
This message was seen by many of Etale’s readers as constituting a call to violence.
In Kenya, or in any democracy, only the security forces of the state, paid by taxpayers, have the monopoly of legal use of violence in the public interest. No citizen may deploy violence except in self-defense. The duty of the citizen in all other cases is to report breaches of the law to the relevant authorities to take action.
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