EXCLUSIVE: Kameme FM under probe over controversial voter registration advert
The National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) is investigating one vernacular radio station over claims that it is fanning ethnic divisions by airing a controversial voter registration advertisement.
The NCIC chairman Francis Ole Kaparo said the audio which has been airing on Kameme FM is being handled by his officers for interpretation and analysis.
“I do not understand Kikuyu (language) but the audio has been sent to my officers for transcription,” he said, noting that action would be taken if it is found to be inciting people to violence.
The advert is being run by Kameme FM to mobilise as many Kenyans as possible in the Mount Kenya region to register as voters for the August 8 general elections.
Kameme FM management operates under parent company Mediamax Network Limited, which associated with President Uhuru Kenyatta’s family business.
In the recording, a presenter is heard sneering the Kikuyu community for taking a back seat and giving the opposition leeway to unseat President Kenyatta in the upcoming polls.
‘DEFEND THE THRONE’
The 90-sec audio further details reasons why the Kikuyu community must come out in large numbers to defend what the presenter refers to as ‘their throne’.
“My people it is bad and its worse than before and if we play around we shall lose. In some places you cannot transact any business without producing voters’ card of your national identity card. But we have decided to treat the matter lightly so much that you cannot leave your business to register as voter,” the presenter starts off.
Using ancient Kikuyu proverbs and scriptures from the Bible the presenter warns of dire consequences should the ‘Kikuyu’ community fail to rise to the occasion.
The presenter accuses his tribesmen of laxity and taking the presidency for granted. Scornful, he compares those who have not registered as voters to a gun without a bullet and a toothless lion.
“If at all you are 18 years of age, in Central Kenya and you have not registered as a voter then you are useless,” he says.
Kenyans on social media vented their displeasure with the audio accusing the radio station of inciting one community against another and hate-mongering for political reasons.
NTV’s The Trend panelist Ciru Muriuki was sucked into the discussion for sounding alarm of the audio through her Facebook page.
“This one I have to speak on, and if I’m called a traitor, so be it. A certain vernacular station is running ads urging its listenership to register as voters’ enmasse in order “kurangira uthamaki” (defend the kingship). What tribalism garbage is this?” she posted on official Facebook page.
Hitting back at those who described her as a disgrace to the community Ms Muriuki said she would not apologize.
Others called for the immediate closure of the radio station.
John Mwangi posted on his Facebook page “I heard in Kameme FM they are encouraging people to register as voters so as to defend their kingdom. What frustrate me more is the use of Bible in the spread of that stupidity.”
Attempts to reach Head of Kameme Radio Gatonye Wa Mbugua for comments were unsuccessful.