Kisii is not a hotspot for electoral violence, leaders say

Friday August 4 2017

Campaign posters at a roundabout in Kisii Town. Leaders from Kisii County have rebuffed reports flagging the region as potential hotspot for electoral violence. PHOTO | BENSON MOMANYI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Campaign posters at a roundabout in Kisii Town. Leaders from Kisii County have rebuffed reports flagging the region as potential hotspot for electoral violence. PHOTO | BENSON MOMANYI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By MAGATI OBEBO
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Leaders from Kisii County have rebuffed reports flagging the region as potential hotspot for electoral violence.

They said there have been no violent incidences reported in the county in the recent past to warrant the listing.

Speaking at an IEBC induction session Thursday afternoon, the leaders, among them Governor James Ongwae, said the campaign period has largely been peaceful.

They said there are no indications that violence could erupt during the polls next week.

“There is absolutely no reason to worry,” Governor Ongwae told Nation on the side-lines of athe IEBC induction meeting.

Other governorship candidates among them Manson Nyamweya (KNC), Charles Maranga (MDP) and Boniface Omboto (MCC) also attended the IEBC sensitisation forum held at Nyakoe Hotel in Kisii.

SECURITY

Mr Ongwae, who is defending his seat on an ODM Party ticket, said there is no need for security agencies to use the listing of hotspot areas as an excuse to deploy soldiers who may scare away voters.

“This is an excuse that someone wants to use and send soldiers who would end up scaring away the voters. As candidates we don’t want our people to stay at home for non-existent fears. We want them to turn out in large numbers and vote for their leaders,” said Mr Ongwae.

Similar sentiments were echoed by Mr Charles and Mr Omboto.

Senate candidates Omingo Magara (PDP), Richard Atemba (KNC) and Richard Mokua (KSC), who were also present, termed the political atmosphere in the county as peaceful.

AGENCIES REPORTS

Latest reports by the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, National Gender and Equality Commission and the National Cohesion and Integration Commission say Kisii County has chances of violence erupting during the polls.

Kitui, Machakos and Busia had also been placed in the list following simmering divisions among governorship candidates in the respective areas.

In Busia County for instance, a fierce political battle is expected between Governor Sospeter Ojaamong and his main rival in the Tuesday polls, Funyula MP Paul Otuoma while in Machakos, Governor Alfred Mutua of Maendeleo Chap Chap party will be facing Wiper’s Wavinya Ndeti.

Other counties flagged as possible hotspots include Homa Bay, Baringo, West Pokot, Lamu, Kilifi, Migori, Kiambu, Bungoma, Turkana, Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Nakuru, Narok, Uasin Gishu, Kericho, and Isiolo.

Kisii County Commissioner Samuel Njora said the government is adequately prepared to stem any incidences of violence during the polls.

“So far we are prepared as security agencies to deal with any individuals who may want to cause chaos,” he told Daily Nation.

Kisii County IEBC Returning Officer Sydney Namlungu assured the leaders of a free and fair voting process.