Three counties have been listed by rights watchdogs as places where violence might erupt in the August polls.
Kitui, Machakos and Busia have been identified as hotspots due to sharp divisions that emerged among candidates during the party primaries last month. Intense campaigns have so far been witnessed in the areas since then.
The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR), the National Gender and Equality Commission, the Commission on Administrative Justice and the National Cohesion and Integration Commission, in a joint press conference yesterday, urged the police to take necessary precautions to avoid violence in the three counties.
“Initially we thought the three counties do not pose any challenge and are not possible hotspots, but after the party primaries, things have shifted and we now consider them as hotspots,” said Mrs Kagwiria Mbogori, chairperson KNCHR.
Mrs Mbogori, who read the statement, urged security apparatus to keep tabs on campaigns in the three counties.
“It is good for the police to take preventive measures in the said areas instead of being caught unaware. Special attention must be directed to all hotspots to ensure that pro-active measures are taken against all forms of electoral violence,” said Mrs Mbogori.
In Busia County, a fierce battle for the gubernatorial race is expected between the incumbent Sospeter Ojaamong and Funyula MP Paul Otuoma and in Machakos, Governor Alfred Mutua will square it out with Wiper’s candidate Wavinya Ndeti, while another showdown looms in Kitui where former Lands Cabinet Secretary Charity Ngilu will battle it out with Governor Julius Malombe.
The commissions are urging all candidates campaigning across the country to conduct a peaceful campaigns.