THE National Cohesion and Integration Commission has begun preliminary investigations against three Kikuyu musicians accused of propagating hate speech in their songs of praise for deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta. Commission chair Mzalendo Kibunja told the Star yesterday that an official complaint was lodged with the commission last Friday. He said the commission had obtained the audio and video recordings of the songs.
The musicians under investigation are Kamande wa Kioi, Muigai Wa Njoroge and John Demathew. The songs are Uhuru ni Witu (Uhuru is Ours) by Kioi, Hague Bound by Wa Njoroge and Mwaka wa Hiti (The year of the hyena) by Demathew. Kibunja said the commission will not hesitate to open charges against the three as well as any media which has been playing the songs if it is established that the songs have violated the National Cohesion and Integration Act, .
The commission will also seek to ban the songs if they are found to promote hate speech. “We are waiting for an officially certified translation of the songs from a certified translator. The translation should be in by the close of business today or tomorrow and then we will announce next course of action. This is a very serious matter,” Kibunja said.
He said the commission has contacted the Media Council of Kenya in a bid to get a log of all media enterprises which have been playing the songs. Section 62 of the Cohesion Act criminalizes the dissemination of hate speech. The songs have elicited mostly negative comments on social media with many condemning the sentiments as provocative and inciteful.
Yesterday, the secretariat of Uhuru's TNA party condemned the songs through its Facebook page called 'Team Uhuru'. “We would like to strongly point out that if this is what certain vernacular musicians are doing, regardless of the language and community, we truly stand against it! Music in our respective languages is beautiful, but when corrupted for an agenda that disunites Kenyans, it's shameful," said Team Uhuru. "For the good of Kenya as a whole watch out for certain acts and base your votes on and NOT tribal affiliations/individuals,” said the Facebook post.
Kioi's song Uhuru ni Witu consoles Uhuru over the ICC trials. The DVD contains splices of Prime Minister Raila Odinga, President Kibaki and retired President Moi indicating that they are in support of Uhuru succeeding Kibaki. It also shows the IDPs in camps and proceeding of the ICC trials at the Hague.
The song says God will deal with the ICC and Uhuru should not get worried as it was just a passing cloud. "Greetings people of the house of Gikuyu and Mumbi. I bring you a message from all Kikuyu musicians. This is a message from God. Uhuru is the Moses of the Kikuyu nation. He is meant to move Kikuyus from Egypt to Canaan. Do not agree to be divided. Let all votes go to him. He is ours. He is anointed by God, poured oil on.
Raila, there is a call. Go to Mama Ngina’s house, a king has been born there. Once there ask where Uhuru is seated and pour oil on him. Just like Samuel did for David in the Bible. Stop chasing the wind Agwambo, go to Icaweri and anoint Uhuru. You thump your chest about Hague, is Hague your mother’s? There is a curse from God. Philistines who do not circumcise cannot lead Israel. When Abraham stressed God, he was told to go get cut, even you General of Migingo, your knife is being sharpened," say some of the translated song lyrics.
Wa Njoroge's Hague Bound song is presented as a question and answer narrative.
Question: What if you knew that you are being pushed to the Hague by an uncircumcised man who wants to push you there and take over your wife and all your wealth? A man who can do anything to ensure you are in problems.
Answer: Then it is better to die. Things for men are not governed by an uncircumcised man. I would kill him. Its better they increase my charges.
Question: What would you tell your crying supporters as you are being shipped to the Hague?
Answer: I would tell them to pray for me and know I am being persecuted for my love of my community.
Question: When you get to Hague how you would ensure the white man does not cheat you?
Answer: I would ask for proceedings to be done in Kikuyu.
Question: When on the dock what would you be thinking of the uncircumcised man who is the source of your predicament?
Answer: I would ask God to forgive him. I would also ask that he gets circumcised so that he matures mentally. I would also ask Kenyans to be very wary of that man.
Demathew's song Mwaka wa Hiti describes 2012 as the year of the hyenas. It cryptically refers to the tribulations of Uhuru, the son of Jomo. “As Demathew I prophesize and let the stones hear me if men won't. It is now the year of the hyena. Who will teach you and your ears are blocked? When a man is seated he sees further than a boy on top of a tree. You are like a greedy hyena seeing a man walk and following him hoping that his arm will drop off. You follow him till he boards the train and the arm does not drop and you never eat. Before Jesus was crucified, He stood in the court Judge Pilato and he answered all questions, Judge Pilato said Jesus is free but the crowd asked that a thief be freed instead.”
Where are you from? If you were one of us, you would be pained by the people burnt in Kiambaa church. My brother lost his property in Kisumu, how can you tell us he is our community’s friend. Father I feel sad when I see your son being persecuted by men of ill-will and a woman is carrying their bags," sings Demathew.