Rift Valley Regional Commissioner Maalim Mohammed has called on politicians to conduct peaceful campaigns ahead of the August elections.
Mohammed said the political class should spare the country bad behaviour ahead of the 2022 polls because the economy cannot afford another set of disruptions as the shocks of the Covid-19 pandemic disruptions were still lingering.
“Electioneering should not be a messy affair if everyone plays by the rules and stays ethical in their campaigns. The government is determined to bring to an end the culture of chaos and tension around elections in this country,” he said.
Speaking at his office at the Regional headquarters in Nakuru when Governor Lee Kinyanjui paid him a courtesy call, Mohammed said violence can never be part of the country’s political fabric.
“It will not happen in our country. Kenyans are after development-leaning and progressive leaders. We are keenly following political activities in this region. Security agencies are under firm instructions not to spare individuals engaging in acts of violence and issuing inflammatory utterances,” added the administrator.
Mohammed said every Kenyan has a right to live and own property in any corner of the country. “President Uhuru Kenyatta is committed to ensuring security and peaceful co-existence among Kenyans and so am I,” he said.
He revealed that peace building activities had been rolled out ahead of the polls and that he had started holding meetings in the 14 counties to ask residents to maintain peace before, during and after the elections so that no life is lost and no property is destroyed.
Mohammed assured Kenyans that the government would not allow the perpetrators of retrogressive politics to succeed.
“Election is a one-day affair. Everyone must be allowed to air his opinion without blackmail, threats and violence .The country has to do everything to prevent election-instigated violence. I have tasked local administrators to walk from village to village and spread peace messages. Don’t fight with the police because they are only here to maintain law and order,” Mohammed pointed out.
Kinyanjui urged residents to work closely with the security department and report unlawful political activities within the region.
The governor called on the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) to invoke its powers and publish the names of persons or institutions whose words or conduct may undermine peace. He said this would hinder violence and intolerance, as Kenya inches closer to the 2022 polls.
While noting that peace must prevail for Kenya to develop, Kinyanjui noted that the country was bigger than political individuals and must be preserved for future generations
“I urge leaders to continue preaching peace. I am happy about the relative peace that has been there for the last three years,” said the Governor.
By Jane Ngugi and Dennis Rasto