, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 16 – Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere has warned politicians fond of engaging or sponsoring violence of tough times ahead as the country gears up for the 2013 general elections.
Iteere said his officers are under firm instructions to ensure any politician engaging in political violence faces the law.
“Our message is simple… if you have criminal habits which have failed to die, we shall kill them for you,” Iteere said Thursday in his warning to politicians.
He made the remarks in a Nairobi hotel at a forum for regional dialogue on women political leadership on peaceful and transparent elections.
The police chief lauded the efforts made by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the National Cohesion and Integration Commission in ensuring the rule of law is followed to the latter.
Lately, the commission has recommended the prosecution of two Cabinet ministers and a legislator accused of perpetrating hate speech.
“We are together in it and we shall render every cooperation possible,” he said.
Iteere assured that his department was adequately prepared to ensure the national election is conducted in an environment free of violence.
He told the women gathered at the forum that despite the fact that the National Police Service Commission has not been constituted and the Inspector General appointed, security will prevail in the country.
“I wish to assure the country that police have cooperated in every way possible to ensure that these officers are in place,” he said.
He said police will not sit back and watch any form of violence occur in the country.
“National security, law and order have absolutely no space for a wait-and-see attitude,” he said and reminded his officers that “we must live up to the professional standards set by the Constitution.”
He assured that his office will ensure women are not intimidated in any way during the elections.
“In general elections, you can only overlook the women vote in Kenya at your peril. It follows that our women have the clout and critically influence the standards of behaviour in all our spheres of life,” the police chief said.
Women leaders urged him to ensure there is adequate security during the general election due in March 4 next year.
They proposed a strong force of 90,000 security officers to man all polling centres and stations across the country.
The call by the women can hardly be met because there are roughly 75,000 police officers in Kenya.
“I came here to acknowledge that police are aware of your vulnerable position in an election competition where the rule of law takes second stage,” he said and assured that “police are doing everything to protect the freedom of women to pursue their political ambitions without fear of intimidation or other criminal acts.”
Kenya plunged into deadly violence after the 2007 general election following a dispute between incumbent president Mwai Kibaki and rival Raila Odinga who was made Prime Minister in a mediated agreement by former UN chief Kofi Annan.
Some 1,300 people were killed and half a million others displaced.
Four Kenyans, including deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, former Civil Service chief Francis Muthaura, Eldoret North MP William Ruto and Radio presenter Joshua arap Sang are facing crimes against humanity charges in The Hague for planning or funding the deadly violence.