Scores hurt after youths storm Migori ODM poll training

Friday April 21 2017

One of the victims of the attack by youths in Migori admitted to the Migori County Referral Hospital. The youths attacked ODM nomination officials who were being trained in readiness for the Monday primaries. PHOTO | ELISHA OTIENO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

One of the victims of the attack by youths in Migori being treated at Migori County Referral Hospital. The youths attacked ODM nomination officials who were being trained in readiness for the Monday primaries. PHOTO | ELISHA OTIENO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By ELISHA OTIENO
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Scores of people were injured in Migori County on Thursday in a fresh wave of political violence.

Chaos broke out Thursday evening when a group of armed youths stormed St John’s Seminary Rakwaro Catholic Church in Rongo constituency, where training of ODM nomination officials was taking place.

The participants, a majority of them teachers, were beaten senseless by the youths allied to political aspirants in the region.

The presiding officers were being trained ahead of the Monday primaries.

According to one of the participants, Basil Nyagaya, the youths came in three pickup trucks and immediately descended on them with rungus and machetes.

“The female teachers in our midst raised distress calls, prompting villagers to come to our rescue. The gang later left the venue after smashing the doors and windows of the church,” he said.

The youths had accused the poll officials of planning to rig the Monday primaries.

The victims were treated in various hospitals and discharged.

20 YOUTHS ARRESTED

On Friday, County Police Commander David Kirui said 20 of the youths had been arrested while in possession of the pangas and rungus used in the attack.

“We are interrogating them to get leads to arrest the remaining perpetrators,” he explained.

Migori governorship aspirant Ochillo Ayacko criticised the attack, describing it as a cowardly act.

“This act should not go unpunished,” he charged.

In Kadika Village, three people were seriously injured after they were attacked at night.

The victims were returning from a funeral when they were accosted by their assailants.

In Awendo, Rongo MP Dalmas Otieno later accused party officials in the region of planning to rig the primaries.

“A conspiracy to rig the nomination seems to have been put in place and we demand fairness in this important exercise,” he said.

Similar views were expressed by Migori Governor Okoth Obado, who said some people were making fake ballot papers in readiness “for stuffing on Monday”.

“We need credible nominations in which everybody has confidence. The will of the people should be allowed to prevail,” said the county boss.

Mr Kirui asked residents not to panic as General Service Unit (GSU) officers will be deployed in the region to keep order.