, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 28 – Acting Police Spokesman Charles Owino has issued a stern warning to employers who withhold their workers’ identity cards, effectively denying them the right to cast votes on Monday.
Owino, who singled out security firms, told journalists on Thursday that the move was illegal and an infringement of employees’ rights saying that any employer found culpable shall be prosecuted.
He also asked employees, whose vital documents had been confiscated, to report the matter on 0733-412-734.
“Any employee who experiences this should send a message to this number with their employer’s details,” he said.
Speaking elsewhere, officials of the Kenya National Private Security Workers Union (KNPSWU) complained that the problem was common in Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Eldoret, Kitale and Nakuru.
The law prohibits the unjust withholding of people’s national ID cards.
Group Secretary General Issack Andabwa and officials Elijah Manani and Joash Soita also complained of insufficient arrangements by employers to allow security guards working in shifts to cast their votes.
“We advise all employers to make special considerations for the day shift guards to be relieved early by the night shift guards to go and exercise their constitutional rights,” said Andabwa.
Owino at the same time urged Kenyans not to relocate out of fear of being attacked saying everything was in control.
He added that the police were already investigating incidents in Limuru, Kericho, Juja, Thika, Nairobi, Kisumu, Kakamega and Mombasa where some leaflets were circulated.
He further cautioned hooligans against disrupting public rallies saying they will be arrested.
“The security of all Kenyans is assured and those who are distributing leaflets are simply cowards who want to scare innocent Kenyans into stopping them from exercising their democratic rights,” he observed.
Owino also asked Kenyans to exercise sanity on the roads as they travel to cast their votes saying the increase in road accidents was worrying.
He urged them to follow all the regulations on road use and especially on the highways.
“Since January a total of 618 people have died in road accidents; 245 were pedestrians, 216 passengers, 53 drivers, 24 pillion passengers, 51 motorcyclists and nine peddle cyclists,” he noted.
Ninety nine thousand police officers have been deployed all over the country to help oversee the highly anticipated elections, as campaigns hit the home stretch. Twenty three thousand, six hundred and eighty one special of the officers are drawn from the National Youth Service, Prisons, Kenya Forest Service, Kenya Wildlife Service and male recruits.
Seventy Senior Police Officers have been also been deployed all over the country to supervise the historic elections.