Security Organs in Kisumu County have heightened surveillance to ensure the safety of individuals in the area ahead of the Supreme Court’s verdict on the presidential election petition to be released on Monday.
Nyanza Regional Commissioner Magu Mutindika has assured the public that security agencies are monitoring the security situation to avert potential post-polls chaos in the region.
County Commissioner Josephine Ouko speaking at her office to Kenya News Agency on behalf of Mr. Mutindika advocated for a concerted effort by various stakeholders to champion peace and calmness as the nation awaits the outcome of the apex court.
At the same time, Ms. Ouko urged the media fraternity to conduct their activities with utmost caution when covering the aftermath of the presidential petition.
“Media plays a critical role in informing the public, however, during this period irrespective of the outcome, we highly dissuade journalists from mounting cameras in volatile areas like Kondele and the Central Business District (CBD) in Kisumu town that might attract charged crowds whose actions might inflame violence,” said the Commissioner.
The directive, she said, is not meant to gag the fourth estate but is a precautionary security measure to guide them as they discharge their mandate. Ms. Ouko asserted that the media just like other stakeholders are deemed to operate in a secure and friendly environment.
Kisumu, a metropolitan town has witnessed a remarkably peaceful coexistence since the declaration of the presidential election results on 15 August despite being earmarked to be among the hotspots for post-election violence by the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC).
On Thursday, the US Embassy in Nairobi issued a security alert for its citizens against visiting Kisumu ahead of the Supreme Court ruling, a move that dims the efforts of the security officers in the County that have worked tirelessly to enhance security in the area for both local and foreign residents.
“Out of abundance of caution, the US embassy has imposed movement restrictions on US citizens in Kisumu. The State Department reminds US nationals of the continued need for sustained vigilance,” read the statement in part.
On his part, Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o debunked the US travel advisory, reaffirming that Kisumu is a peaceful community for people from different races and ethnic groups that have stayed in the area devoid of insecurity cases.
“We do not expect any change in this state of affairs whatever the outcome of the Supreme Court petition,” assured the county boss.
The Azimio la Umoja presidential candidate Raila Odinga filed a petition to the Supreme Court of Kenya challenging the outcome of the 9 August general elections where the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Chairman Wafula Chebukati declared the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) candidate William Ruto as the president-elect.
By Robert Ojwang’