Voters queue at Tente polling centre in Nyamira County. The nomination was last week marred with irregularities, leading to chaos.[Photo:Sammy Omingo, Standard]
The Government plans to avert chaos in the ongoing political party primaries by deploying more police officers.
National government administration officials and police officers have also been warned against interference or bias in the primaries.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery said the Government has decided to intervene because of the chaos so far experienced.
“Going by the number of incidents of chaos and violence recently experienced during the party primaries, the Government has decided to step in and take decisive action to maintain peace and stability,” he said.
The warning comes after it emerged that some national government officials and police officers were taking part in party primaries.
Nkaissery cited a case in Nyandarua County where a police officer was found acting as a presiding officer at Nyakiambi polling station.
He also said it was illegal and a criminal act to bar political party agents from gaining access to polling stations, as has been the case in several places.
“It is the responsibility of the presiding officers and security officers to ensure that voting takes place in their respective polling stations smoothly in an atmosphere that is orderly and peaceful,” he said.
He said police officers who will be found to be partisan will be dealt with in accordance with the service standing orders.
Nkaissery said politically-instigated violence has been witnessed in Homa Bay, Migori, Kisumu, Busia, Bungoma, Kiambu, Murang’a, Nakuru, Kajiado, Embu, and Mombasa.
The CS said 17 people were scheduled to appear in court over the violence in Migori.
In Nakuru County, a parliamentary aspirant and three of his supporters who were arrested in possession of ‘crude’ weapons will be charged soon.
In other counties, there were reports of plans to rig out aspirants by compromising returning officers.
“The Government is resolute in dealing with this and we shall be consulting with IEBC with a view to having those candidates who will be found culpable of such malpractices disqualified,” said Nkaissery
The CS was accompanied by Inspector-General of Police Joseph Boinnet and Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho.