Kama Noma Noma, Watajua hawajui, full list of NCIC banned words in Kenya published


NCIC chairman Samuel Kobia photo on Kenya's banned words labelled as hatespeech
NCIC chairman Samuel Kobia

Before the August elections, the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) released a list of words and phrases that it will consider hate speech.

The expressions, which are popular among politicians, are thought to be directed against certain communities or persons and have been labeled as incitement.

"Through this exercise of identifying phrases and coded language that have been frequently utilized in Kenya's political landscape with the purpose to instigate violence against diverse populations with differing political viewpoints, we have seized the bull by the horns," NCIC said in a statement.

The list, according to NCIC head Samuel Kobia, is not exhaustive and will be updated from time to time.

"This is a live document," Kobia explained, "since the terminology and coded language will be updated regularly for use in the National Cohesion and Integration Commission's social media surveillance."

Words connected with senior politicians in their day-to-day vote-gathering operations, the majority of which are directed against their opponents to demonize them, are at the top of the list.

Hatupangwingwi, a slang term that loosely translates to "we cannot be dictated," is one of the words and phrases. The term has been connected mostly with Deputy President William Ruto and his team, and is considered as a slap at the administration.

Madoadoa (a Swahili term for spots) has also been outlawed, after it was used in the camps of both Ruto and ODM leader Raila Odinga.

Uncircumcised, fumigation, elimination, kill, kaffir, chunga kura, Takataka and kama noma noma are among the phrases that have been banned.

Others include kwekwe, mende, operation linda kura, watu wa kurusha mawe, watajua hawajui, wabara waende kwao, wakuja (Those who arrive), Uthamaki ni witu (the kingdom is ours), kimurkeldet (Brown teeth), and Otutu Labatonik (uproot the weed).

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