Kisumu County security agencies have rolled out various initiatives geared towards enhancing peace during the August general election.
In an exclusive interview with KNA, Kisumu Central sub-county police commander Antony Maina noted that the county has put in robust measures to ensure that the city remains safe as the country gears for the polls.
“We have a very strong engagement with the community, state actors, national government administration officers, religious organizations and we have conducted police reinforcement which will help maintain peace in the city,” he said.
He further said that they are mapping out hotspot areas such as Kondele, Nyalenda and Obunga estates and that they have also put in place early warning mechanisms as part of the measures to curb violence during elections.
Maina highlighted that they have incorporated boda bodas, matatus and tuk-tuk operators owing to their influence and a large number of youths working in the sector.
“We are working closely with the youths within various sectors who will mobilize other citizens in promoting peace,” he said.
Additionally, he pointed out enhancement of some of the wananchi forums such as Mulika Uhalifu Initiative which enables citizens to survey and report violent cases that happen within the community.
Through this initiative, he said, police officers are able to monitor incidents that are likely to cause violence and do follow-ups to prevent the cases from escalating to dangerous levels.
“There is extreme protection of privacy of the agents or our reporters because the forum does not reveal the name or the time when the person sent the message. This encourages people to report any evil incident without fear of threats or intimidation from the culprits,” he explained.
Maina revealed that the security sector has a control room where anyone can call at any time and get quick support since the network is good and the county has enough vehicles to reach out to people.
In addition to that, he assured that the Ministry of Interior would also ensure maximum security of the vulnerable groups such as the women, children, disabled and the elderly. These groups, he said, are always at higher risks during violence.
By Kunga Rosbelah and Mary Odago