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State temporarily lifts dusk to dawn curfew

The State has temporarily lifted the dusk to dawn curfew imposed on restive parts of Kerio Valley to ensure that all eligible voters exercise their right in voting for candidates of their choice.

Rift Valley Regional Commissioner Maalim Mohammed however clarified that the curfew that was deactivated from August 8, would be reinstated effective August 11 at 6pm until further notice.

While announcing that the entire region including all the 12,480 polling stations was now under heightened security surveillance, Maalim affirmed that nothing would be left to chance in ensuring that everybody in the county has a chance to exercise their democratic right.

“We have dispatched enough personnel to all parts of the region, more so Kerio Valley, where there has been a challenge of insecurity. We have not experienced any insecurity cases in the last few days. This means there is no cause for alarm in any part of the region. The process will run as smoothly as possible,” he said.

During a media briefing on the security agencies preparedness held in his office in Nakuru, the administrator confirmed that additional security personnel from specialised detachments including Rapid Deployment Unit (RDU), General Service Unit(GSU), Anti-Stock Unit(ASTU) and Border Patrol Unit(BPU) have been dispatched to Nakuru, Uasin Gishu, Nandi, Kericho and Narok counties.

On Kerio Valley he said “The area is generally safe at the moment so the curfew to curb insecurity along the valley has temporarily been lifted to allow people to vote and for Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) officials carry out their mandate as it is expected of them.”

Maalim further stated that additional security officers have been deployed along the Pokot, Turkana and Elgeyo Marakwet borders.

He noted that they have also deployed officers along the Marich-Turkwel road, Turkwel to Kapenguria, Kapenguria to Kacheliba and Marich to Chesegon roads.

He urged voters to ignore calls by politicians to guard the votes. He said the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission would protect the votes using different security agents in every polling station.

“People are instructed to vote and leave the polling station because the IEBC, the security agents plus agents of every candidate will protect the votes,” he said.

The administrator said there was no need for voters to think any problem would occur in the polling stations because the IEBC and the other agencies were there to ensure the secrecy of the ballot and guard the integrity of the people’s will.

“Campaigns are over; people should go back to normal life. Everyone has a right to vote. We don’t want groupings and campaigns anymore,” he stressed.

Maalim reiterated that no demonstrators would be allowed on roads during the week of the general election.

He observed that in the past, politicians used “peace demonstrations” to disrupt the peace and destroy property in the vast Rift Valley region.

Paid thugs take advantage of such demonstrations to cause trouble, Maalim said, and warned residents to avoid joining such events.

“People should know there is a government in power that is responsible for the protection and security of the population. Let no one think this is a time to paralyse the law,” he said.

The administrator warned that those found to be organizing such ‘peace’ or other demonstrations would be arrested and dealt with according to the law.

The Public Order regulations require that organisers must notify the police in advance of plans to hold demonstrations of any kind.

“In any case, police are busy handling elections and cannot be engaged in other activities at the moment,” added the RC.

Maalim, who last week led other security chiefs in launching a regional multi-agency command centre in Nakuru, said the facility would serve the 14 counties in the region.

“The Rift Valley will never be the same again. The region has experienced violence in past elections, but the 2022 polls will be different. I urge members of the public to use the hotline contacts to swiftly report incidents, including electoral malpractices,” Maalim said.

The Regional Multi-Agency Command Center is further linked and will coordinate operations of County Multi-Agency Command Centers in Baringo, Bomet, Elgeyo Marakwet, Kajiado, Kericho and Laikipia Counties that are also fully operational.

It will also oversee operations of similar outfitted command centers in Nakuru, Nandi, Narok, West Pokot, Samburu, Trans Nzoia, Turkana and Uasin Gishu counties.

The hotline numbers are: Regional Command Centre – 0793100200, Nakuru – 0736350172, Laikipia – 0776451830, Bomet – 0741649294, Kajiado – 0772330690, Elgeyo Marakwet – 0742812034, Nandi – 0721895443, Uasin Gishu – 0732999567, Kericho – 0732999485/0786719663, Turkana – 0115556221, Baringo – 0120400358, Narok – 0721974715, Samburu – 0718627279, Trans Nzoia – 0742037383 and West Pokot – 07983149

A team of security officers drawn from the National Police Service (NPS) National Security Intelligence Service (NSIS) and Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) has been deployed to man the Regional and Counties Multi-Agency Command Centers.

The centers will also work on a coordinated approach with other State institutions such as Kenya Defense Forces (KDF), Kenya Prisons Service (KPS), Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS, National Youth Service (NYS) and Kenya Forest Service (KFS) among others in discharging their duties.

“The Centers are aimed at avoiding situations where the different security agencies act in isolation, leading to confusion and inefficiency. We will ensure our country remains peaceful before, during and after the elections. We will ensure synergy between all security agencies and stakeholders across the country,” Maalim assured.

He urged Kenyans to ensure that they maintain peace after voting. “We will deal decisively with anyone trying to create discontent in the region. We have received enough support in terms of security personnel, patrol vehicles and fuel,” he said.

Maalim dispelled reports to the effect that some polling stations in the North Rift would be relocated and further clarified that there was no intention to close certain businesses including entertainment joints.

By Jane Ngugi

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