IEBC summons Migori Governor and rival over violence

Governor aspirant Ochillo Ayacko addresses his supporters in Migori town in May.

 

kngh4o6odevohat595d24c3ba2ce IEBC summons Migori Governor and rival over violence
Governor aspirant Ochillo Ayacko addresses his supporters in Migori town in May.

The electoral commission has summoned Governor Okoth Obado and his political nemesis, Ochillo Ayacko, over violence that has rocked the county.

The summons come as the National Intelligence Service (NIS) listed the county among 11 others likely to experience post-election violence.

The two politicians are set to appear before the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) disciplinary committee on July 7.

They have accused each other of sponsoring the violence that continues to rock the county weeks to the August 8 elections.

Residents are now living in fear as hardly a day passes without supporters allied to either one are beaten or their lives threatened.

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The most ugly violence occurred two months ago, when supporters of the two candidates fought during a rally at the Posta grounds. Several people, including a bodyguard of Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho, were injured.

Mr Obado was fined Sh2 million by the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party disciplinary committee for the violence even after he denied any wrongdoing.

Seriously injured

There was another incident in which teachers hired by ODM to conduct its nominations were seriously injured when they were attacked by goons who ambushed them at Rakwaro Seminary in Rongo, where they were being trained.

Yesterday, The Standard was informed that Obado has, through his lawyers, Ogure and Company Advocates, written to IEBC asking for action to be taken against Mr Ayacko for allegedly perpetrating violence against his (Obado’s) supporters.

In a voluminous document filed with the commission, Obado attached photos of his supporters allegedly either being killed or maimed by his opponent’s supporters, claims Ayacko has dismissed.

Ayacko yesterday confirmed he had been summoned to the IEBC headquarters and said he was ready to present his case.

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Last Friday during Opposition leader Raila Odinga’s campaign visit in the county, more than 30 people from both camps sustained injuries when the youth allied to both camps fought for over three hours.

Ayacko, who is vying for the governorship as an independent, claimed Obado was using his bodyguards and close family members to target his supporters.

“The bodyguards have been going to homes and entertainment spots at night and fishing out my staunch supporters and intimidating them with arrest and violence,” he alleged.

He further accused police of being complacent and favouring Obado ahead of the polls.

Speaking to the press in Migori town on Monday, the former Cabinet minister said despite making numerous complaints and recording statements, the police were yet to take action.

“The governor, his bodyguards and several Administration Police officers, including his in-laws, who are armed, have been intimidating my supporters. Despite them lodging several complaints, nothing has been done,” Ayacko said.

Civic group

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This comes barely two days after a civic group in Migori asked the two politicians to sign a peace pact ahead of the polls.

Ayacko said he had called the county security team but no action had been taken, adding to public perception that police officers were supporting Obado.

Migori Administration Police Commander Daniel Rukunga said police in the county were neutral in handling election matters and urged Ayacko to report any officers he accused for taking sides so appropriate action could be taken against them. 

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