Government beefs up security ahead of polls

The Government through the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government, has re-affirmed that enough security measures have been put in place ahead of the August 9th General Elections.

Speaking at the 2nd Annual National Conference on Criminal Justice Reforms in Naivasha, Interior Cabinet Secretary (CS), Fred Matiang’i said at least 10,000 specialised officers had been mobilized and deployed under a multi-sectoral approach comprising of the police, prison officers and wardens from the Kenya Wildlife and Kenya Forest services among others.

The CS added that more officers and equipment would also be made available to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to enhance security measures ahead of polls.

CS Matiang’i raised concerns over lack of a proper regulatory framework to guide the financing of campaigns in the country, warning that the citizens risks electing into power people of questionable character.

Matiangi regretted that money launderers and other criminal elements were taking advantage of lax financial regulations guiding the campaign funding to manipulate the electoral process.

The CS identified gaps in the legal framework on the regulations of the amount and source of campaign funds which he said poses a major threat to the credibility of the forthcoming August General Election.

“We might have over 40 percent of elected office holders becoming our leaders if we allow all the ‘wash wash’ gangs and other criminals to bribe their way in the coming elections,” said Matiangi.

The CS called for a multi-sectoral approach to develop a suitable mechanism to deal with such gaps in the law in order to ensure criminals do not infiltrate into elective offices while at the same time defending the (IEBC), saying only collective efforts will be able to tame such individuals.

He, however, expressed frustrations in prosecuting suspects abusing social media networks due to easy access to bonds, which he noted poses as a major drawback to discouraging the vice.

This he said reverses the efforts made in prosecuting criminal elements and in deterring others from committing the same vice.



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