UK & World News
Kenya: Hate Leaflets Trigger Voter Poll Fears
Hate leaflets threatening violence ahead of Kenya's elections are being distributed in numerous parts of the country, police have confirmed.
In one leaflet obtained by Sky News, a politician in Western Kenya accused a rival tribe of seeking to uproot his community ahead of the March 4 polls.
Referring to the tribe members as "weeds", he promised to push them off their land and return them to their "original home" if elected.
Deputy Police spokesman Charles Owino Wahong'o said in a statement: "The leaflets are causing fear and may cause people to leave the regions where they registered as voters.
"Other leaflets are warning people of possible violence during and after the election."
Kenya was rocked by ethnic conflict during its 2007-2008 elections.
More than 1,100 people were killed and up to 600,000 forced from their homes as a result of the disputed poll, where members of two rival tribes both claimed victory.
Hate speech, often reported by local media, was a major catalyst for the fighting.
Journalist Joshua Arap Sang is now wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity for allegedly inciting violence on his radio station KASS FM.
His trial is due to start in April, along with that of current presidential candidate Uhuru Kenyatta - who is also indicted on charges of crimes against humanity.
In a report released earlier this month, the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights said it had recorded politicians in Kenya's coastal region issuing "inflammatory" statements including threats to "dispossess" rival ethnic groups.
A spokesperson for Kenya's Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission told Sky News that it had deployed observers to monitor political campaigns for hate speech ahead of Monday's presidential poll.
The IEBC was established in the wake of the 2007-2008 conflict to serve as a neutral elections arbiter in an effort to ensure this year's contest runs peacefully.
The commission has received £14m in funding from the British government.
Nonetheless, reports suggest that irregularities may plague next week's election.
In its report, the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights claimed to have received information suggesting "widespread incidences of voter bribery during the nominations period and the ongoing campaigns".
Another organisation, the Kenya Commission on Human Rights, said its field monitors had reported a growing number of armed gangs, an increase in voter intimidation and harassment of female political candidates ahead of the election.
Hello, regular commenting on Orange News and Sport pages closes on Thursday 30 May 2013. We will continue to provide a commenting facility on major news and sport events on orangeworld.co.uk. Contact us via http://oran.ge/OWfeedback if you have any further questions. Thanks.