, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 11- Two thousand extra police officers will be deployed to provide security in Homa Bay County during Thursday’s by- election.
Acting Inspector General of Police Samuel Arachi said the officers were under firm instructions to ensure the by-election is conducted peacefully after the recent chaos witnessed there.
Arachi, through a statement read by Kenya Police spokesperson Zipporah Mboroki, said the decision to deploy a large number of officers was arrived at after an assortment of weapons was found in a hotel in Homa Bay town last week.
“To ensure that the exercise is undertaken smoothly, all the relevant agencies have put in place sufficient measures on the ground,” he assured.
“The recovery of these weapons is an indication that there are people who – through others or on their own – would like to cause fear, apprehension, and even chaos during the forthcoming by-election.”
He stated that all 816 polling stations in the County will be properly manned by security personnel.
“They will be working around the clock to ensure that members of the public are safe and that those who may want to cause unnecessary fear and panic among the public, or to breach the security in any way are dealt with in accordance with the law,” he warned.
He is now urging political leaders in the region to work closely with security agencies to ensure a peaceful poll when voters will be going to the ballot to pick a Senator to replace the late Otieno Kajwang.
“To the public, I want to state that they hold a bigger and noble responsibility of remaining law-abiding and vigilant at all times,” he said.
“They should not hesitate to report promptly and accurately any actions or activities which might compromise security and harmony of the people living in the county.”
Opposition leader Raila Odinga has asked police to ensure there is peace during the by-election.
The main contest is between ODM candidate Moses Kajwang and Philip Okundi of Maendeleo Democratic Party.