Politicians running for various positions in the forthcoming general election have been cautioned against holding political rallies in Kisumu city’s Central Business District (CBD).
This follows a ban enforced by the City Manager Abala Wanga outlawing political gatherings within the CBD to protect its aesthetics after a successful beautification programme.
Wanga said the project which cost the county government millions of shillings had received international recognition adding that no rallies shall be allowed in the area.
Any attempts to ignore the order shall be met with the full force of the law, he said while asking politicians to make use of the designated areas outside the CBD for their rallies.
On Monday, former Kisumu Governor Jack Ranguma and his supporters were repulsed by police officers as they tried to gain entry into the CBD to address a rally.
The officers lobbed teargas canisters to stop the rally bringing business to a standstill at Jubilee Market, Bus Park and the busy Kisumu-Nairobi road.
Speaking to the media in Kisumu on Tuesday, the City Manager cautioned against ignoring the ban saying punitive action shall be taken against them.
“The county government has spent millions of shillings to put cabros, ornamental flowers to beautify the city. Therefore we cannot allow individuals to tamper with the infrastructure,” he said.
The city management, he said, would cost any damage caused by errant politicians to ignore the order and bill them among other measures.
“The CBD is a place to do business and we cannot allow people to come there with noisy caravans disturbing the peace. These people come from the estates so follow them there,” Wanga said.
“If you want to hold a political rally we have Moi Stadium here which you can hire, spend money to put up tents and ask your supporters to come and listen to you,” he added.
The directive however has been viewed by a cross-section of aspirants as inconsiderate given that the CBD is rich in votes.
Aspirants vying for Kisumu Central Parliamentary seat and the Market/Milimani Ward MCA seat claim that the city lies in their area of jurisdiction and they must be allowed to move freely to seek for votes.