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State beefing up security to volatile Baringo during polls

The National government has allocated more than 2,000 police officers for deployment to all polling stations across Baringo county in order to provide adequate security coverage during August 9 polls.

The county police commander Adams Bungei said that a sizable contingent of the security personnel will be sent to insecurity prone zones of Baringo North and Baringo South constituencies, where voters fear for their safety.

The police boss stated that historical issues that have remained impediment to smooth elections for a long time like thorny boundary challenges at Kampi Samaki between Baringo North and Baringo South, were recently ironed out completely through consensus by all relevant stakeholders.

Speaking during a peaceful elections sensitization meeting held at a Kabarnet hotel facilitated by NCIC, Bungei also stated that they were at the final stages of sorting the Mukutani issue, where there is conflict of polling centres between Tiaty and Baringo South.

Other areas where they have focused keenly, the police commander pointed out, include the recurring intercommunity conflicts witnessed in areas of Maji Mazuri and Timboroa, where they have managed to bring all leaders, community opinion leaders and the clergy into a round table to discuss underlying issues that keep cropping up during general elections.

“We have been going around as a security team to hear from the people about their problems. We have managed to sort out all issues that are likely to jeopardize peaceful co-existence of communities. This time we are prepared and determined to deal with any eventualities that might arise from voting patterns,” he stressed.

In the meeting chaired by County Commissioner Abdirisack Jaldesa, the police commander urged wananchi to allow candidates from across political divides to traverse the region and sell their manifestos and agendas freely.

“Nobody should be harassed or intimidated when soliciting votes. Do politics peacefully and democratically. Let people listen to all candidates to enable them make informed choices come the election date,” he stated.

At the same time, Bungei asked politicians to exercise sobriety and maturity by avoiding utterances that can sow seeds of hatred amongst various communities.

He said that so far they have deployed sufficient security officers to areas like Kolowa, Amaya, Nadome, Kapedo and Kasiela, Arabal, Sinoni, Kapindasum in Mukutani ward to secure voters, especially those who had escaped from their homes due to rampant attacks by bandits.

He added that adequate arrangements have been put in place to ensure security of voters, election officials and equipment during the Election Day.

The county commissioner in his address echoed the sentiments of the police boss assuring local residents that the local security team is adequately prepared to handle the enormous task of securing the elections, stating that already mapping of all hotspots have been completed and strategic measures initiated.

He advised candidates from the various political parties in the election contest to prepare themselves for the eventual outcome saying losing is not a matter of life and death.

By Joshua Kibet

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