Police have arrested 27 armed youth said to have been planning to disrupt a political rally in Rabuor, Kisumu County.
The suspects, said to be from Awasi, were intercepted by law enforcement officers a few kilometres from the venue of the rally convened by Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) senatorial candidate Fred Outa.
Several crude weapons, including three machetes and two knives, and two rolls of bhang were found. The suspects were being held at the Ahero police station.
Key ODM leaders are expected to attend the rally, including deputy party leader and Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho and senators James Orengo (Siaya) and Anyang’ Nyong’o (Kisumu).
Also expected to attend the rally is the Nyanza Nasa campaign secretariat team, led by nominated MP Oburu Oginga and Homa Bay woman rep Gladys Wanga.
Kisumu County Commissioner Mohammed Maalim warned those intending to cause chaos during this campaign period that they will be dealt with according to the law.
“We will not hesitate to deal with criminals out to disturb the peace. I commend the public for sharing information,” said Mr Maalim.
The arrest comes amid heightened political campaigns, some of which have been marred by violence.
Three weeks ago, Mr Outa and his bodyguard fired in the air as they fled from irate mourners who were baying for his blood at a funeral in his constituency.