, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 3 – A probe has been launched to ascertain the origin of a teargas canister that was thrown at the main podium during Bungoma Senator Moses Wetangula’s presidential bid launch on Saturday, resulting to a scuffle that left one person dead.
Government Spokesman Eric Kiraithe says the incident was unfortunate while warning that the government will not allow any political group to use violence and chaos as a tool of advancing their agenda.
“While the Government commiserates with those injured yesterday in Kakamega, we also take this opportunity to send a loud and clear message to politicians using violence as a political tool that this cannot and shall not be tolerated,” he cautioned.
The Government Spokesman says the violence witnessed at the historic Masinde Muliro grounds appears to be a systematic pattern of violence being perpetuated by a clique of political elements in public places.
Kiraithe, who addressed journalists on Sunday, said the Government will ensure all political players have a levelled platform while those who breach the law will be dealt with firmly.
On this, he cited Thursday’s State of the Nation address where President Uhuru Kenyatta speech was severally disrupted by a section of ODM legislators.
“A few weeks earlier, early March, the country had been treated to yet another incident of orchestrated political violence when hired goons attacked supporters of a certain candidate in the Malindi by-election,” he pointed out.
He said the current trend will not be tolerated more so during this crucial time when the country is headed for the 2017 General Election.
“What one reads from all these well-choreographed incidents is that some politicians and political groups in the country are using violence to achieve their nebulous political goals as the country nears general elections,” he said.
“The Government is determined to ensure that the country never goes back down to that path again.”
Politicians among them ODM Secretary General Ababu Namwamba have condemned the incident.
“In the strongest terms imaginable, I condemn the senseless mayhem in Kakamega today that has harmed innocent people and visited shame and odium upon a whole community and region. Anarchy is certainly no democracy,” Namwamba posted on his Facebook page.
Senator Kipchumba Murkomen on his part said, “The discord and violence that took place in Kakamega is despicable and immoral. Those who do such must be ashamed to call themselves leaders.”
The violence happened when Wetangula was taking an oath in the company of CORD co-principal Kalonzo Musyoka and other leaders.
The leaders were forced to leave the stadium hurriedly and returned later when calm was restored.
CORD leader Raila Odinga and Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya did not attend the launch.
The leaders had earlier said that Odinga was held up in some other meeting with the Governor in Kisumu and that he was expected later on.
All the three principals of the coalition, ODM leader Raila Odinga, Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka and Wetangula have expressed their interest to vie for the top most position in the country.
Wetangula on his part has expressed optimism that he will clinch the coalition ticket.
“Everyone stands a fair chance of becoming the president of this country,” Kakamega Senator Boni Khalwalwe said ahead of the ceremony.