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Security tight as hopefuls face off in hotly contested primaries

Security has been beefed up in the Rift Valley region ahead of Friday’s Jubilee Party nominations.

The primaries will be hotly contested in most of the counties, which happen to be Jubilee strongholds.

Rift Valley regional coordinator Wanyama Musiambo said on Thursday that security teams in the region were on high alert.

Speaking to Nation, he said more than 1,000 security officers had been deployed to tighten the security of aspirants and voters.

“More police officers have been deployed to areas marked as possible violence areas and places where violence has been reported during the nomination campaigns,” he said.

“We will be very strict on matters of security as we want a peaceful exercise. Let us vote peacefully as elections come and go. Let us maintain and preach peace,” noted Mr Musiambo.

NO TO CHAOS

He further urged politicians not to attempt to cause violence and called on residents not to be used by politicians to cause chaos.

The primaries will take place in Elgeyo-Marakwet, Uasin Gishu, Baringo, Bomet, Laikipia, Kericho, West Pokot, Nandi, Nakuru, Kajiado, Narok and Trans Nzoia.

Nominations in Turkana and Samburu counties will be held on April 25.

It is expected to be a battle of titans especially in Uasin Gishu, where billionaire Zedekiah Bundotich, popularly known as Buzeki, will face off with incumbent Governor Jackson Mandago. In Nakuru, a stiff contest is also expected between incumbent Governor Kinuthia Mbugua and former chairman of the National Transport and Safety Authority Chairman Lee Kinyanjui and former Naivasha MP John Mututho.

Jubilee Nakuru branch Secretary Kiplangat Cheruiyot said all arrangements had been made for a smooth exercise.

“The party has set rules that every aspirant will have only one agent so that we don’t bring about confusion,” he said. He said aspirants who engage in any acts of violence will be disqualified.

HATE SPEECH

In Narok, the county security team said security has been beefed and warned politicians against propagating hate speech or causing chaos that they will be arrested.

County Commissioner Moffat Kangi, who chairs the committee, said the government would not tolerate individuals and politicians who go about spreading tension for their own selfish motives.

In Laikipia and Nyandarua, aspirants pledged to maintain peace during the primaries.

Police in the region promised to provide adequate security. Nyandarua County Police Commander Philip Opiyo said: “We have finalised security arrangements. We are warning aspirants against ferrying and inciting youths to cause violence if they lose. They will be met with the full force of the law.

Led by gubernatorial aspirants Thuita Mwangi and Mr Nderitu Muriithi, Laikipia aspirants pledged to ensure that their supporters conduct themselves appropriately during and after the nominations and in the run-up to the General Election.

Nyandarua Governor Daniel Waithaka and Senator Muriuki Karue (gubernatorial aspirant), among others, also urged supporters to maintain peace.

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