NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 5 – The Inspector General of Police, David Kimaiyo, has added his voice to those cautioning politicians against using historical injustices in the allocation of land as a campaign tool.
He said the subject of land ownership is highly emotive and has been identified as one of the catalysts to the violence that followed the last elections, and urged politicians to trade carefully with the matter.
“The land issue at this point in time should not be one of the issues that are pointed out as a campaign tools by candidates, its effect has been seen before and we do not want candidates to dwell on the highly emotive issue,” he urged.
He was speaking during while opening a two day workshop between the National Police Service (NPS) and the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) on the security measures put in place ahead of the March 4 General Election on Tuesday.
The National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) Chairman Mzalendo Kibunjia had censured politicians on Monday for manipulating the land issue in their campaigns for their benefit oblivious to the repercussions.
“We must not accept leaders who incite us on the basis of historical injustices that we have agreed as a nation and even formed institutions to resolve them. None of them can resolve those issues in a month’s time so why are you inciting us on issues that you cannot resolve?”
“The country is cooler than it was in 2007 one month to elections. It didn’t happen by accident. Something like that which is raw… which is very emotional and you want to use it? I don’t think you being fair to Kenyans.”
Even in the face of these warning politicians continue to bring up the land issue on the campaign trail.
While campaigning under a Coalition of Reform and Democracy (CORD) in Kisumu County, outgoing Sports Minister Ababu Namwamba accused the Jubilee Coalition leader’s, Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, family of being behind the historical injustices in the allocation of land and therefore cannot be expected to remedy it in the event he is elected president.
“If you are a serious leader you say what you mean and you mean what you say. I hear that William Ruto and Uhuru Kenyatta want to implement land reforms and I laugh. I laugh very loudly because that is the biggest joke of the year.”
Kimaiyo also cautioned politicians against using helicopters after 6 pm as they carry out their campaigns given after the sun goes down visibility is greatly reduced.
“We have already enhanced the security of presidential candidates and the deputies; all we need from them is their cooperation with the security personnel and we have also prepared guidelines on how they should conduct their affairs including their time of travel. We are advising that they desist from boarding choppers from 6pm,” he insisted.
He said that he had received assurances from the Chief Justice that the hearing and determination of cases dealing with election offences will be expedited as charges have already been drafted.
“We shall strive to ensure that all those breaking the law are arrested and prosecuted and this year it’s is not business as usual in the sense that we already have a pro forma of charges and the CJ has assured me that the plea will be taken in the morning and the case could even be heard on the same day,” he added.