Rift Valley Regional Commissioner Mr. Maalim Mohammed has warned politicians and individuals involved in organized political violence and crimes that their days are numbered.
He assured residents that various security arms of the State were on standby to avert violence witnessed during each electioneering period and the emergence of organized gangs.
The administrator further warned that the State would crack the whip on individuals bankrolled by a clique of politicians to open fictitious social media accounts which they used to incite Kenyans against each other besides spreading hate speech.
He urged the mainstream media to report objectively and responsibly while avoiding content that may polarize citizens against ethnic fault lines.
Speaking in Nakuru during a multi-sectoral consultative forum on preparedness for the August 9 General Election, the administrator also warned politicians who use the gangs to terrorize their opponents that criminal charges would be preferred against them.
“We have dismantled the criminal gang referred to as ‘Confirm’ in Nakuru by special multi agency squad called ‘Anti-confirm’ who have done commendable work in the last two months,” he said.
“As a government, we are determined to deal with criminal gangs. We will apply pressure on them until they are all decimated,” Maalim added.
The administrator revealed that law enforcement personnel were under strict instructions to ensure that women aspiring for various elective posts were shielded from threats and harassment from their male opponents.
He called on politicians to conduct peaceful campaigns ahead of the August election adding that violence could never be part of the country’s political fabric.
During the forum that brought together the Regional intelligence team, County commissioners, Departmental heads and heads of State Agencies from 14 counties among other stakeholders, Maalim urged the political class to 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 played by the rules and stayed 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.
Maalim 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 put on notice individuals fueling land and boundary disputes to gain political mileage, and called on Kenyans to be wary of persons making false land allocation promises in order to gain political office.
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.
Maalim 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,” Maalim pointed out.
He affirmed that special units had been deployed in the restive Kerio Valley after normalcy had been restored.
By Anne Mwale