Nyanza Regional Coordinator Wilson Njega has ordered for the arrest of Kisumu County Senator Fred Outa for allegedly inciting youth to disrupt training of Presiding Officers (POs) and their Deputies (DPOs) at Nyanza regional headquarters Wednesday.
Njega, while condemning the incident, termed it as an act of hooliganism adding that the masterminds of the attack will be dealt firmly in accordance with the law.
Njega, who was accompanied by his security team, said it was wrong to prevent the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) from executing its constitutional mandate of training poll officials.
Njega blamed the attack on Senator Outa, whom he said was showing a bad example by engaging in lawlessness.
Investigations, he said had been launched to probe the conduct of the Senator among other leaders who were involved.
A group of irate youth stormed the venue, only a day after disrupting the same training that had been moved to Church of God Multicultural Christian Centre at Awasi, about 40 Kms from Kisumu town on Tuesday.
Wednesday morning, Commission officials decided to resume the training at the more secure Nyanza regional provincial headquarters, but the rowdy youth got wind of it and stormed the venue, destroying tents and chairs as IEBC officials and trainees scampered for safety.
The youth who were joined by Senator Fred Outa and former Deputy Governor Ruth Odinga, insisted that that they could not allow the IEBC to conduct their training while their demands for irreducible minimum reforms had not been addressed.
At one point, the senator slapped the woman who had been contracted to supply refreshments, chairs and tents, further heightening the tension.
The duo said that the resignation of IEBC Commissioner Roselyn Akombe was a cue that the poll agency was partisan and could not conduct a credible election as currently constituted.
The early morning confrontation saw the windscreen of a vehicle belonging to the woman contracted to supply chairs and other materials smashed, tents set on fire and chairs thrown out of the compound.
Ant-iriot police officers were quickly deployed to the scene and rescued the business woman before she was driven away in a government vehicle, in the company of Kisumu OCPD Matune Maweu from the irate youth who were baying for her blood
The regional Coordinator said two people have been arrested in Siaya County after they were found to be culpable of disrupting Tuesdays’ training that was to be held in Bondo, while ten others had been arrested in Awasi.
He assured the election officials that the security agencies were keen on providing them with security, adding that anyone who is not an IEBC official will not be allowed to gain access in the polling stations.
Kisumu County Governor Prof. Anyang’ Nyong’o said that it was necessary for the electoral body to be sanitised before the IEBC could embark on the training of the Officials.
This he said will help the IEBC gain the confidence of the public which they have currently lost.
The devolved unit, the governor said will not be party to an election that will not provide a level competing ground, adding that he will not let down efforts of seeking poll reforms through peaceful demonstrations.
Kisumu County IEBC manager John Cox, who was not present at the time, could not pick his phone when contacted.
Source: Kenya News Agency