The Judiciary has announced plans to establish five courts to specifically deal with individuals propagating hate speech during the electioneering period.
According to Chief Justice Martha Koome, the special Magistrates’ Courts will be based in Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Eldoret and Nakuru Counties.
Addressing the media after an Inter-Government Consultative Meeting on Election Preparedness at the Kenya School of Government, Koome said the Judiciary will not hesitate to establish more special courts in areas that will be deemed hotspots, to deal with hate speech.
“We have formed a technical committee that will meet after this to look at issues to be addressed; about conduct of party primaries, dispute arising from the primaries, the kind of intervention that we need to make, including the budgetary issues that we have discussed,” Koome said.
The Judiciary also announced plans to train 120 judges, 480 magistrates, and 400 judicial staff to deal with election petitions expected to arise from the forthcoming polls.
Meanwhile,Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i said the Government will provide over 5,500 police officers to support Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) during the period.
“With more resources, better equipment and valuable lessons from past elections, the Government is well prepared to support IEBC and other state agencies in ensuring the electoral process is secured,” he said.
Already, a technical team has been set up to come up with the election roadmap and is expected to brief the multi-agency team in 10 days.
The multi-agency team brings together the Judiciary under the CJ, Matiang’i, Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho, ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru, Attorney General Kihara Kariuki, IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati, National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) chair Samuel Kobia.
IEBC Chairperson Wafula Chebukati informed the team that turnout of new voters in the ongoing mass voter registration exercise slated to end on 2nd November 2021 remains alarmingly low.
He said only 760,000 new voters have so far been registered against the commission’s target of 4.5million.