NCIC asks for Sh1.4b to fight hate speech during campaigns

Monday, August 16th, 2021 00:00 |
National Cohesion and Integration Commission chairman Samuel Kobia.

National Cohesion and Integration Commission requires a budget of Sh1.4 billion to discharge its functions efficiently and effectively, chairman Samuel Kobia has said.

He cited inadequate funding as among key challenges curtailing the commission’s operations.

Kobia told the parliamentary Committee on National Cohesion and Equal opportunity that his commission is currently struggling with limited funding.

With the upcoming general election, Kobia observed that an inadequate budget would frustrate the commission’s operations.

“We have been operating with a lean budget of a paltry Sh324 million which was our ceiling.

It was recently increased to close to Sh500 million by the President. Now we are requesting Parliament to lobby for us to get Sh1.4 billion,” he said.

He was speaking in Mombasa when the commission met the parliamentary committee to discuss among other issues, the commission’s strategies for next year’s general election, possible violence hotspots and measures put in place to prevent chaos.

Also in the agenda was the proposed amendment to the National Cohesion and Integration Act which, according to Kobia, is considered a top priority considering it was enacted before promulgation of the 2010 Kenya Constitution.

Part of the proposed amendments of the Act, he said, is to give the commission more powers which include “the teeth to bite.”

Once the proposed amendments are passed, the NCIC will become part of the constitutional bodies involved in the clearance of politicians seeking elective positions at all levels of representation.

“We need to be enlisted as part of clearing process so that in case one has a record of hate speech, we have an option of not clearing him,” Kobia said while speaking to the press.

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