MOMBASA, Kenya, Apr 17 – The Wiper Democratic Movement has warned against violence in its nominations starting tomorrow, vowing to disqualify aspirants who will not conform.
Secretary General Hassan Omar says they are working with National Police Service to ensure peaceful nomination exercise in Mombasa, Kilifi and Taita Taveta.
“I wanted to reassure our members that there is no cause for alarm. I have heard so many people saying there are other people preparing or planning violence; I just want to warn you, we have allowed the police to deal with it with the full force of law that it deserves,” Hassan said, “I think we cannot continue to constantly create tensions and pandemonium around a process that relate to very democratic process around our Constitution. It cannot be that when one person is planning to win an election, another is planning to beat up others that is why we will disqualify anyone engaged in violence,” Hassan said, while constantly quoting the party leader Kalonzo Musyoka.
The party is scheduled to kick-off the exercise with primaries in Mombasa, Kilifi and Taveta Taveta on Tuesday.
Hassan told a news conference on Monday that the party will also involve the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) and the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (EACC) to ensure rogue aspirants are denied certificates.
“As a party we are not going to impose any heavy fines. We will make sure that if we find you culpable of electoral violence that not only do we bar you from participating in Wiper nominations, we will help make sure that the full force of the law takes place across the board; if it is prosecution, if it is to be barred by the EACC, so that you don’t feel you can transit to another party,” said the Wiper Secretary-General, while vowing that “Violence must be punished in this country; impunity must be punished in this country.”
According to the party lists published by the Independent and Boundaries Commission, the Wiper National Election Board has cleared five candidates to battle it out for the governorship position, six aspirants for the Senator’s positions, 42 for members of the National Assembly and 11 aspirants for women representatives on Wiper ticket.
The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party was the first to kick off nominations last week, and has come under sharp criticism for failing to curb violence and other malpractices leading to cancellations of results in Migori and other areas.
The Jubilee Party is also set to hold nominations on Friday this week, in what is seen as a major test to democracy in the ruling party which is President Uhuru Kenyatta’s re-election vehicle in the August General Elections.
The party’s Secretary General Raphael Tuju has assured that adequate measures have been put in place to ensure a free and fair nominations exercise.