The government on Monday stepped in to stop the violence that has characterised ongoing party nominations as one person was killed in Homa Bay and others injured in the battle to be on the ballot in August.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery said while the national government had kept off the nominations, it would now restore order because it was clear parties were unable to control their supporters.
He directed police to quickly enforce the law by arresting those involved in electoral violence.
“Taking cognisance of the principle of separation of powers, the national government has steered clear of party primaries. Going by the number of incidents of chaos and violence, the government has decided to step in and take decisive action to maintain peace and stability,” he said at Harambee House, Nairobi, as a man died after being run over by a car in Homa Bay during chaotic nominations.
Mbita MP Millie Odhiambo reported the death at Homa Bay Police Station, saying the deceased was her supporter.
“He was knocked down by a vehicle belonging to one of my rivals which had been trailing me. They also attacked my motorcade and shattered the windscreen of my vehicle. Some of my supporters were also injured during the incident,” she said.
Homa Bay County police boss John Omusanga confirmed the death, saying they were investigating it.
“We have received the report on one death and launched immediate investigations,” he said.
In Mombasa, Changamwe MP Omar Mwinyi was arrested and briefly detained at Port Police Station before being released on bond.
He was later taken to the Mombasa Law Courts to face violence charges.
In Kirinyaga, chaos, delays and confusion marked the much-publicised repeat of Jubilee Party nominations in President Uhuru Kenyatta’s stronghold.
At Rukenya Primary School polling station in Gichugu constituency, voters set ballot papers ablaze, protesting at the missing names of eight aspirants seeking to be elected members of county assembly.
Trouble started when the polling clerks and the presiding officer opened the cartons containing the ballot materials and noticed that the names of eight ward representative aspirants were missing. They informed the voters about the anomaly and urged them to be patient.
But the voters turned rowdy, accusing the officials of trying to rig the nominations.
In Trans Nzoia County, chaos erupted after voters complained about the lack of ballot papers for gubernatorial aspirants after Ford-Kenya handed the area Governor Patrick Khaemba a direct ticket.
They set ballot papers ablaze in protest.
Maj Gen (Rtd) Nkaissery directed the police to provide security without favouring any political party or aspirant.
He cited cases where some police officers had been accused of barring poll agents from entering polling stations.
In another case, a senior Administration police officer was found working as a presiding officer at a polling station. Maj Gen (Rtd) Nkaissery said action would be taken against the officer.
“Police officers who will be found to be partisan will be dealt with in accordance with the Service Standing Orders. In some other counties police officers have been accused of favouring some candidates by denying agents of other candidates access to polling stations,” he said.
“In Nyandarua County, an administration police officer was found presiding over the polls at Nyakiambi polling station.
The National Police Service has been directed to investigate and take appropriate disciplinary action against the said officer.”
The Nation learnt that the officer was working for a former government official who is vying for an elective seat.
Chaos has been reported in the nominations for the Jubilee Party and the opposition Orange Democratic Movement.
Violence has been reported in Homa Bay, Kisii, Migori, Kisumu, Busia, Bungoma, Kiambu, Murang’a, Nakuru, Kajiado, Embu and Mombasa.
“It is the responsibility of presiding officials and security officers to ensure that voting takes place in their respective polling stations smoothly in an atmosphere that is orderly and peaceful.
“I urge members of the public to report any security officer and national government administration officers whom they find engaging in partisan activities during nomination process,” said Mr Nkaissery.
The CS said some aspirants were involved in rigging by compromising returning officers and police officers providing security.
He added that the government would seek the help of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission so that such candidates are barred from contesting.
Political parties have until May 1 to finish the nominations ahead of the General Election on August 8.
“The government will deal decisively with anybody who threatens the security of our citizens. Any person found taking law into their own hands will be dealt with in accordance to the law,” the CS said.
He said security officers found interfering with the party primaries would be sacked.
Seventeen suspects have been charged at the Migori Law Courts while in Nakuru, a parliamentary aspirant and three of his supporters were arrested for carrying weapons.