Security agencies prepared to deal firmly with electoral violence

All systems are in place to ensure delivery of a smooth and peaceful election, Kajiado County Commissioner Wilson Wanyanga has revealed.

Wanyanga noted that the government was ready to deal firmly with any cases of insecurity and electoral violence in the county during the electioneering period.

Speaking in Kajiado town after chairing a multi-sectoral committee tasked with harmonizing coordination of peace initiatives ahead of the August polls, the CC said sufficient manpower and resources will be deployed in all areas in the county before, during and after the August 9 polls.

He added that sensitization of the public on the importance of peace was also on-going in those areas with different sectoral groups such as the Matatu sector, Youth and boda boda operators involved in passing peace messages.

“We are prepared to deal with any insecurity cases that may arise during this election period and we are involving all multi-sectoral groups in sensitizing the public on the importance of maintaining peace,” he said.

Wanyanga revealed that areas that are likely to be violence hotspots in the county have been identified and they were being closely monitored.

Some of the areas singled out include; Kiserian, Ewuaso, Kimalat, Korompoi, Majengo, Kware, Kumpa, Kitengela, Isinya and Il Bissil.

The areas were highlighted as potential violence hotspots based on various factors such as areas that had previously been affected by political and electoral violence, areas known to experience competitive politics, existence of multiple ethnic groups, criminal gangs, rival clans and different political affiliations.

Drug and substance abuse, hate speech, incitement and use of political rhetoric by politicians was identified to be a likely catalyst to electoral violence in the hotspot areas.

The commissioner noted that intensive sensitization of peace was ongoing with the church, Nyumba Kumi and other groups involved.

“We are involving all stakeholders in passing peace messages during this period. The areas identified as hotspots are being closely monitored with peace rallies and walks organized to sensitize residents on peaceful elections,” said Wanyanga.

The administrator urged residents to be vigilant and report those inciting others to the relevant authorities.

He urged all Kenyans to desist from engaging in any form of violence including incitement on social media and heckling of opponents during political campaign rallies.

The CC further challenged the youth, boda boda and matatu sector to be ambassadors of peace and resist being used by politicians to cause chaos.

Wanyanga appealed to the public to observe the rule of law while participating in the electoral process. “I am appealing to the public that on August 9, vote and go home, let IEBC do their work. Peace must be maintained at all times for the development of the nation,” said Wanyanga.

Kevin Osido, Executive Director, County Governance watch, said conflict mitigation programs and civic/ voter education was on-going to ensure the public was sensitized properly ahead of the polls. “We are conducting regular and continuous nationwide civic education on cohesion and peaceful coexistence. We will also be conducting voter education to ensure that there are minimal spoiled votes,” Osido said.



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