Six Kenyan Lawmakers Accused of Hate Speech, Nation Reports

June 15 (Bloomberg) -- A Kenyan minister, an assistant minister and four lawmakers face allegations of hate speech, the Daily Nation said, citing Mzalendo Kibunjia, chairman of the country’s National Cohesion and Integration Commission.

Higher Education Minister William Ruto is among those accused of making inflammatory comments about a new constitution that will be put to a referendum on Aug. 4, the Nairobi-based newspaper reported, without elaborating. The commission has asked security agencies to look into a prosecution, Kibunjia said.

If found guilty, the six could be fined as much as 1 million shillings ($12,384) and serve as many as five years in prison, the Daily Nation reported. Ruto has denied the charges, it said.

Ruto didn’t answer his mobile phone when Bloomberg News called seeking comment today.

To contact the reporters on this story: Sarah McGregor in Nairobi at smcgregor5@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin in Johannesburg at asguazzin@bloomberg.net