Meru Governor Peter Munya address residents in Meru. (Photo: Kibata Kihu/Standard)
Senator Murungi records statement with police over defacing of campaign billboards.
Meru Governor Peter Munya has accused Government officials and security personnel of taking sides in his political battle against Senator Kiraitu Murungi.
The claim comes even as Mr Murungi, in a statement to police, blamed his rival in the race for the governor’s seat for hooliganism during campaigns.
Mr Munya said he would not sit back as his supporters were being harassed by police, an accusation that the county commissioner has dismissed.
Addressing supporters at Kinoru Stadium Sunday, Munya said residents were behind him, adding that nothing would stop him from winning the August 8 election.
“The provincial administration and the new police (bosses) are partisan. They are trying to intimidate my supporters,” Munya said, in reference to the Wednesday night arrest of several of his supporters for allegedly defacing Murungi’s posters.
“Since our billboards were destroyed, there has not been any arrest. Sunday they (referring to Murungi’s camp) put posters on our billboards without permission. Now five of my supporters have been arrested,” Munya told a crowd.
He was referring to the defacing of Party of National Unity (PNU) Senate candidate Mugambi Imanyara’s billboards in Meru town in January.
“Nobody will intimidate me, not the commissioner nor the police. I have a right to seek votes. If the harassment continues, we will demonstrate to register our displeasure,” Munya said. But County Commissioner Wilfred Nyagwanga denied Munya’s claims and said they would deal firmly with anyone who breaks the law.
“We are neutral. We are discharging our duties according to the law. Whoever breaks the law will be dealt with firmly,” he said.
Murungi spoke as Tigania West MP David Kareithi and senatorial aspirant Gideon “GG” Thuranira warned on what he termed political violence incidents in the county.
Kiraitu protested following the defacing of his roadside campaign light boxes in Meru town, blaming his key rival for hiring goons to vandalise his campaign materials.
“I have spent over Sh300,000 erecting the billboards, which have been paid through an advertising company in Nairobi and l have been authorised to erect them,” he said.
Meanwhile, the court has allowed the police to hold suspects linked to election malpractices for seven days.
They were denied bail after they pleaded not guilty to charges relating to destruction of campaign materials.