Did NCIC pick on areas where NASA is strong when pointing out hotspots?
“… Francis ole Kaparo. We have seen that he has started profiling our country, and he has put the counties of Nasa, where we are strong, he’s calling them flashpoints, hotspots, areas where there’s likely to be trouble…. We are not going to accept this Mr Kaparo. ”
NASA Co-Principal Moses Wetangula at Nasa Rally at Kamukunji on July 11
Mr Wetang’ula was referring to a report by the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) that pointed out 19 counties and several parts of Nairobi as prone to violence.
The NCIC report profiled 19 counties as hotspots. Counties listed are Homa Bay, Baringo, West Pokot, Lamu, Kilifi, Migori, Kiambu, Bungoma, Turkana, Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Nakuru, Narok, Uasin Gishu, Kericho, Kisii and Isiolo.
It is important to be wary of the fact that the statement is being made in the throes of an election campaign, when parties are likely to talk up their prospects across the country.
That means claims of party strength from any party should be taken with a grain of salt.
However, we can look at counties that tend to vote strongly for a certain party to see whether one side has been targeted more than the other.
For example, in 2013, Raila Odinga and his Cord coalition won emphatically in Turkana, beating Jubilee by 38 per cent of the votes cast, Homa Bay (99 per cent), Migori (76 per cent), Mombasa (46 per cent), Kilifi (73 per cent), Kisumu (95 per cent), Bungoma (40 per cent), and Kisii (41 per cent).
However, Kenyatta prevailed in Nakuru by 63 per cent, Kiambu (82 per cent), Uasin Gishu (53 per cent), Baringo (79 per cent), Kericho (84 per cent), West Pokot (50 per cent), Isiolo (26 per cent).
Nairobi, with a gap of two per cent between Mr Odinga and Mr Kenyatta, Lamu (12 per cent), Narok (four per cent) and Kajiado (eight per cent) were closer races between Jubilee and Cord.
While it is not clear whether potential for violence exists across whole counties or in particular locations, it is clear almost equal numbers of counties that support Nasa or Jubilee, based on the 2013 elections were cited by NCIC, meaning that it cannot be said the commission was picking on one side.