Politicians warned against misusing youths

Nakuru County Commissioner Joshua Nkanatha has cautioned politicians against ferrying youth to polling stations on August 8 to forestall possible lawlessness that he said may disrupt voting.

The Administrator instead advised contestants of various political offices in the county to use their agents as stipulated by their political parties and the Independent Electoral Boundaries Commission (IEBC) in monitoring the exercise.

He said the government will take legal action against politicians and their supporters ill-bent on botching the voting exercise by ensuring that culprits were subjected to punitive disciplinary measures upon arrest.

The Commissioner said the government will use such measures as deterrence against politically motivated crimes and an assurance for a peaceful voting exercise for all citizens that are eligible to vote.

On this score, the commissioner directed all citizens to cast their votes peacefully and immediately vacate polling centers to await the election’s outcome elsewhere save for duly authorized agents.

Nkanatha was speaking Friday at the Rift Valley Regional Headquarters in Nakuru town during a consultative forum with peace ambassadors drawn from 14 counties under the umbrella of the Rift Valley Council of Elders in the region.

The Commissioner who represented Rift Valley Regional Coordinator Mr. Wanyama Musiambo in the forum said the region’s security committee had already made adequate security measures to guarantee voter security at all the polling centres in the region.

While making references to pockets of violence reported in the region during party primaries last April, Nkanatha observed that the inability of politicians to observe electoral laws occasioned violence.

The anomaly, he added, had led to undue injuries of citizens and the government will not allow a repeat of lawlessness at polling centers.

He at the same time called on eligible voters to turn out in their numbers on the voting day and cast their votes at their designated polling centres without fear of harassment.

The patron of the Rift Valley Council of Elders, Gilbert Kabage, urged the peace ambassadors to engage politicians in their peace building drives in a move he argued will see aspirants of various positions prioritize peace building in their election agenda.

Rift Valley has 14 counties and the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) has already identified at least eight Counties in the region as potential hot spots for election related violence.

Source: Kenya News Agency