DEFICIENCY IN LANGUAGE A MAJOR CAUSE OF HATE SPEECH.

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Information Communications and Technology Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru.
BY THOMAS KARIUKI.

The government has faulted a lack of language policy as the major contributor to ethnic slur and hate speech.

In this regard a Language Policy will be formulated with the aim of curbing hate speech and prosecuting hate mongers.

Information Communications and Technology Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru has said that lack of an elaborate language policy in the country has contributed to the rise of hate speech which threatens to divide Kenyans along ethnic lines.

“Recent public pronouncements by a section of leaders in the country have demonstrated the importance of formulating language policy framework to maintain peace and security,” he said.

The CS was referring to a section of Jubilee and Cord leaders who were locked up four days last week over hate speech.

CS Mucheru said the government inspired by the country’s cultural and language pluralism is developing the policy to promote national homogeneity and provide guidelines on the usage of various languages.

“In doing this we aim at preserving our cultural dynamics and directing our language energies for national development,” added Mucheru.

The Cabinet Secretary said the proposed policy, which is categorized into three broad areas, will be effective in the next two or three months.

The categories are language for good governance, language for a vibrant society, and Language for a strong economy.

CS Mucheru said the language for governance, which recognizes citizens who are disadvantaged by convectional languages, will promote equality and inclusivity of persons with disability.

Language for a vibrant society will foster the spirit of a harmonious society that promotes the country’s cohesiveness through language while language for a strong economy is meant to strengthen education through language learning, creation of wealth and language development.

National Council for People with Disability (NCPD) representative Paul Mugambi hailed the proposed policy, saying it will address a sizeable number of challenges faced by people with special abilities.

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