A total of 16 counties have been identified as possible election violence hot spots.
According to key findings of a hot mapping study by the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) to be unveiled next week, six high-risk counties are likely to experience electoral violence during the August elections while 10 others are at a medium-high risk.
The counties will likely be named at the launch next Tuesday. In February, the commission mapped out 23 counties as possible hotspots before, during and after the polls.
The regions include Kisumu, Uasingishu, Nakuru, Mombasa, Nairobi, Migori, Kericho, Isiolo, Lamu, Bungoma, Kakamega, Vihiga, Trans Nzoia, Marsabit, Kiambu, Nyamira, Homa Bay, Nandi, Bomet, Murang’a, Kirinyaga, Garissa, Siaya
There is however no threat in the remaining 31 counties classified as peaceful.
The commission that has placed Kenya’s national electoral violence index of 2022 at 53.43pc is worried about a spike in the use of hate speech, propaganda and political rhetoric in public spaces and social media which is a key trigger of electoral violence.
It has at the same time issued an alert over the re-emergence of organized criminal gangs blamed on the use of drugs.
“ There is ongoing emergence and re-emergence of organized criminal gangs -especially juvenile groups, as gangs, goons and militia by the political class. The use of drugs and substance abuse is rampant and considered a catalyst of electoral violence” the report reads.
With only 74 days to the August 9 presidential poll, the commission is hopeful that the emerging conflicts would be addressed.
“ Kenyans have strong faith in the capacity of state and non-state actors to address emerging conflicts” the report on peace and security situation in the country urges.
Hate speech terms
NCIC last month released a list of hate speech words namely Madoadoa (a Swahili word for spots) which had commonly been used by politicians during rallies.
Other blacklisted terms include uncircumcised, fumigation, eliminate, kill, kaffir, chunga kura and kama noma noma, kwekwe, mende, operation linda kura, watu wa kurusha mawe, watajua hawajui, wabara waende kwao, wakuja (Those that come), Uthamaki ni witu (the kingdom is ours), kimurkeldet (Brown teeth), and Otutu Labatonik (uproot the weed).