The Centre for Multiparty Democracy – Kenya is concerned about the spate of violence witnessed in the just concluded Ganda Ward mini poll and in campaigns for a similar vote in Kibra.
In a statement on Saturday, CMD-Kenya noted that thousands of lives have been lost as a result of a poor political culture since the introduction of multi-party politics in 1991.
Chairperson Abshiro Halake called on election management bodies, including the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), National Police Service, Judiciary and political parties, to swiftly avert politically instigated violence.
“Candidates and campaigners involved in the by-election contest should stick to issue-based politics and avoid various forms of inflammatory statements during their campaigns,” she said.
Ms Halake, a nominated senator, noted that the IEBC has a key mandate of ensuring instances of electoral misconduct are addressed without fail.
She cited incitement, to violence, disruption of voting exercise, assault, electoral offences and breach of the elections code of conduct
“The code of conduct remains binding to all candidates and all political parties should strictly comply and support the enforcement."
Any breach of the electoral code of conduct by either of the parties, Ms Halake added, needs to be addressed urgently by the IEBC so that the public's confidence is not undermined.
“Moreover, it is the civic duty of every voter to shun any violence that may be impelled by politicians. They have the right to disallow divisive politics amongst them that have in the past brought forth tension and animosities that have jeopardised the spirit of oneness and unity,” the chairperson added.
Ms Halake further noted the need for Kenya to be a nation that respects the rule of law at all costs.
“Elections come and go but the lives of the people can either change for the better or retrogress to the worst depending on the choices we make at the ballot,” she said.
The statement came in the wake of a push and pull in Kibra between Jubilee Party candidate McDonald Mariga’s supporters and those of Orange Democratic Movement's candidate Bernard Imran Okoth.
Clashes last week prompted Mr Mariga to take up the matter with IEBC noting that his supporters were attacked and campaign material destroyed.
In Kilifi, an uncle of victorious ODM candidate Reuben Katana was shot dead in a scuffle that involved Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa and her bodyguard Geoffrey Okuta.
The two were arrested on Tuesday night, charged in a Mombasa court and each released on Sh1 million bond and a surety of the same amount with the alternative of Sh500,000 bail.
They were, however, ordered to present themselves to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations in Malindi on October 21, 2019