IEBC warns candidates over destruction of rivals’ billboards

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission is working with the Directorate of Criminal Investigations to arrest candidates destroying their rivals’ campaign materials.

Nyeri County IEBC Returning Officer Ms. Anastasia Nduku said the agency is ready to conduct a peaceful election.

Nduku said stern action would be taken against candidates found vandalizing the campaign materials of other candidates.

She said the IEBC would not tolerate election violence and was liaising with the DCI to bring to book candidates said to be behind such vandalism.

The United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party candidate for the Kieni parliamentary seat Njoroge Wainaina alias Chieni protested after his campaign materials valued at Sh2.4 million were destroyed by unknown vandals two weeks ago.

Speaking in Nyeri town on Tuesday, Nduku said she had received Chieni’s complaints but because the IEBC does not have investigative powers, only the DCI could help.

“We are well prepared to conduct free and fair elections. By the 9th of this month, we will begin to conduct civic education. We ask politicians to conduct peaceful campaigns. We shall not allow them to vandalize their rivals’ campaign materials,” she said.

Nduku said no major incidents of campaign violence had been reported in Nyeri County. Chieni claimed goons hired by some of his opponents descended on billboards erected at strategic sites in the constituency and pulled them down while damaging others.

The incident happened on the eve of a tour of the area by Deputy President William Ruto’s running mate Mr Rigathi Gachagua and the Kenya Kwanza brigade amid rising tension between the alliance and the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition in Nyeri.

“Vandalizing your opponents campaign materials is a serious breach of the IEBC elections code of conduct that each of us subscribed to which should be observed by all. I hope the relevant authorities will act fast to stem this vice,” he said.

Chieni appealed to his supporters not to take revenge for their opponents’ actions.



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