IEBC slams intolerance in campaigns, begins probe

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 14 – The political intolerance recently witnessed in some parts of the country has caught the attention of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEBC).

IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati on Friday said that the Commission was worried with the rising incidents of violence witnessed in campaigns.

“The violence witnessed in the presidential campaigns in Kisumu, Kabarnet and Thika is disturbing. This show of political intolerance should not be condoned in a democracy like ours,” said Chebukati.

While addressing journalists at the Commission’s headquarters, Chebukati said that any political player found violating the electoral code of conduct will face punitive action.

“The Commission could take several measures including fining offenders, suspending campaigns in areas prone to violence or barring candidates participating in elections,” warned Chebukati.

In what appears to be a move aimed at putting an end to the political intolerance, Chebukati said that the Commission is taking the necessary action to avert future occurrences.

“The Commission has dispatched a team of investigators to collect more information on the areas that have depicted intolerance,” said Chebukati.

The National Super Alliance (NASA) and Jubilee have been met with hostilities in their rival’s backyards.

On Wednesday in Kisumu it was a mixed reception for the Jubilee brigade with President Uhuru Kenyatta getting a rather receptive audience but his deputy William Ruto faced hostility from a group of youths during a launch of a brewery when he tried to introduce Kenyatta to speak.

On Thursday, NASA presidential flag bearer Raila Odinga cut short his campaigns in Thika after hostile crowds at various stopovers heckled and stoned his motorcade.

The Commission has called on the candidates, political parties and their supporters to conduct their campaigns with utmost restraint and strict adherence to the Electoral Code of Conduct.

“We urge Kenyans to adhere to the provisions of the Constitution that guarantee freedoms and rights to political association and choice,” said Chebukati.

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