Crush mini-poll violence, says Kimemia

January 21, 2013 7:23 am
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GSU para-military officers chasing protesters on Kisumu Kondele road on Sunday/CFM
GSU para-military officers chasing protesters on Kisumu Kondele road on Sunday/CFM
NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 21 – The government has ordered authorities in Nyanza to immediately quell rising tensions and violence arising from disputed Orange Democratic Movement nominations.

Head of Civil Service Francis Kimemia directed the Provincial Security Intelligence Committee (PSIC) “to do whatever it takes to ensure stoppage of arson, violence and criminality.”

“The government urges leaders of political parties to fast track nominations disputes resolution, following appeals by aspirants. This will end tension in affected areas especially those most prone to violence and insecurity. The government also urges wananchi to exercise restraint and patience.”

The sentiments follow sporadic violence that engulfed the area over disputes in the ODM nominations especially in Kisumu and Siaya counties.

“Those who take the law into their hands and destroy property must be arrested. PSIC Nyanza and other areas must and should do whatever it takes to ensure stoppage of arson, violence and criminality,” Kimemia said.

“Violence can never be a solution or option for a mature democratic culture and peoples. The world is watching and we applaud leaders who appealed results peacefully, lost honourably and now seek to build this nation in different, equally important sectors.”

Protests rocked the lakeside town of Kisumu and its environs to denounce an alleged announcement that Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s sister Ruth Adhiambo had won the ODM Kisumu gubernatorial nomination.

The demonstrations were simultaneous in Kisumu, Nyando and Maseno where roads leading to Kisumu town were blocked and transport paralysed.

At Kondele in Kisumu town, the demonstrators lit bonfires blocking the Kisumu-Kakamega road as police officers led by the Kondele police chief Johnston Wanyama watched from a distance.

Ruth was ‘declared’ winner at the Tom Mboya Labour College Hall by someone who was not the returning officer.

The demonstrators said there was a plot to rig out Jack Ranguma who was the frontrunner for the position.

Carrying banners saying “No Ranguma, No Raila” the demonstrators vowed not to let go the nomination to Ruth whom they have accused of using her brother’s name to clinch the party nomination.

The standoff came barely a day after Siaya County residents staged demonstrations to protest against former Bondo MP Oburu Odinga who is an elder brother to the PM after he was announced the winner for the gubernatorial position there.

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