Politicians cautioned against violence and hate speech

Politicians running for various positions in Kisumu County have been asked to restrain their supporters to curb cases of violence during campaigns.

A multi-sectoral coordination and collaboration committee spearheading peace ahead of the elections in Kisumu Central Sub-County described the rise in the number of cases as a threat to peaceful elections in the area.

The committee Chaired by Kisumu Central Deputy County Commissioner (DCC) Mr. Alanson Husein pointed out the simmering tension between the supporters of Kisumu Central Member of Parliament (MP) Fred Ouda and his rival Dr.Joshua Oron asking the two contenders to restrain their supporters.

Supporters of Kisumu Governor Prof. Anyang Nyong’o (ODM) and his rival former Governor Jack Ranguma (MDG) have also been cautioned.

Speaking during a meeting in his office, the DCC said all the aspirants shall be summoned to appear before the committee to be sensitized on how to conduct peaceful elections to ensure that the area which has been classified as a hotspot remains calm during the electioneering period.

Hussein asked the politicians to desist from hate speech and divisive language adding that the committee will take them through an oath to observe peace during and after the elections.

The National Government Administration Officers (NGAO) and security agents, he said have been instructed to monitor activities of all the aspirants in the area to ensure that they don’t contravene the elections code of conduct and ethics.

The surveillance, he said, shall be extended to funerals where politicians battle out to ensure that peace prevails in the area.

Some politicians, he claimed, have regrouped gangs in the area to intimidate their opponents, adding that police officers have been instructed to crack down on the illegal outfits.

“We have information that some politicians have assembled youths and goons to intimidate their opponents during the campaigns and we are asking them to desist from that habit or else they will face the full force of the law,” he said.

Alanson cautioned the youth against being used by politicians to engage in acts of violence as the elections date nears.

Security officers, he said, have been instructed to crack down on illicit brew dens in the area where the goons partake the drinks before joining the campaign train.

Kisumu, which over the years has been classified as a hotspot, he added, must prove to the world that the narrative has changed.

“The culture of stone throwing must stop. I am glad that some of the youth have resorted to blogging where they express their ideas without necessarily fighting one another,” he said.

The committee, he added has mapped out volatile spots within Kisumu City and its environs and focus shall shift to the area to ensure that peace prevails.

Besides engaging aspirants, the committee, he disclosed, will organize community engagements to ensure that peace is entrenched in the area.

On Saturday, Kisumu Central MP Fred Outa was roughed up as he tried to gain entry into Kisumu Governor Prof. Anyang Nyong’o’s re-election launch rally at Kirembe.

Security officers were forced to lob teargas canisters to disperse the rowdy youths who were baying for his blood before the MP was whisked away.

On Monday, immediate former Kisumu Governor Jack Ranguma was roughed up by police officers as his entourage made its way to the city’s CBD to address supporters.

Police lobbed teargas canisters at Jubilee market to disrupt the rally to enforce a directive by city management which has outlawed campaigns within the CBD.



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