Withdraw IEBC staff and security officers

Leaders have called for the withdrawal of Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) staff and heavy deployment of security in Nyanza to prevent further bloodshed in the area.

Kisumu Governor, Prof. Anyang’ Nyong’o and Bishop (Prof.) David Kodia (Bondo) who delivered a statement on behalf of the clergy said IEBC officers and heavily armed security personnel were the source of insecurity in an area that has flatly refused to participate in the presidential election.

Prof. Nyong’o termed it a grave day in Kenya since we have an election where the populace who should vote of their free will were being forced to participate in an exercise they have already rejected.

We don’t recognise the October 26, 2017 elections after the government and IEBC failed to meet the conditions spelt out by the Supreme Court which annulled the August 8, 2017 Presidential election results, stated Prof. Nyong’o.

Speaking during a press briefing held at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital (JOOTRH) Friday, the governor said this has resulted in unnecessary loss of lives and injuries to innocent citizens.

He said that Thursday there were 53 cases of police brutality reported in Kisumu which resulted to three deaths, including a university student killed in Kombewa Thursday night and two other victims in Kisumu.

About fifteen people suffered gunshot wounds of which eight were treated but only four were discharged while a similar number are hospitalized with bullets still lodged in their bodies. They will have to live with the bullet scars in memory of Chebukati’s elections, he said.

Prof. Nyong’o further disclosed that 42 other victims were seriously beaten including two children under 18, alongside 14 males aged below 35 after they were found by the roadside or dragged out of their houses.

He claimed that unconfirmed reports indicated that other victims who were shot were picked up by the police but their whereabouts are still unknown.

After visiting Nyalenda we found a young man lying unconscious on the road and eyewitnesses told us that he was dropped there by the police and left for the dead, he added.

Subsequently, he said we will pitch two tents here at JOOTRH and two others at Jomo Kenyatta sports ground to assist those seeking information about their relatives and appealed on behalf of JOOTRH for blood donation to rescue the lives of the victims.

The Governor urged those willing to do so to contact those charged with the responsibility to either call: 0700266922 or 0786266255 for further inquiry. He also requested vernacular Radio stations to repeat the telephone numbers to members of the public.

Prof. Nyong’o claimed that Thursday 16 police officers raided a bar in Nyalenda where they drunk all the beer and took away Sh 80, 000 while in Kondele another team struck a butcher shop, ate and carried away all the meat.

Prof. Kodia said Kenyans have once again had their voices expressed in two different ways with one group having heeded the call by IEBC to vote, and we wish to congratulate them for that.

Similarly, he added, there was another category of voters who chose to stay away and not vote out of their conscience whom he also congratulated for standing firm on their principles.

Regarding fresh presidential elections on Thursday October 26, 2017 he said, after deep reflections and analysis of the prevailing situation in the country and more so in Nyanza region, we as church leaders wish to clearly state our stand.

First that the order by the IEBC Chairman, Wafula Chebukati was not acceptable whatsoever as it borders on subjecting the region to a further state of chaos and police brutality to a level that is not commensurate with the primary objective of the entire electoral process.

For Chebukati to request Inspector General (IG) of Police Joseph Boinnet for assistance to ensure voting takes place specifically in Siaya, Kisumu, Homa Bay and Migori was a license for state massacre, they declared, adding we bind this spirit of bloodshed in Jesus’ name.

Secondly, Prof. Kodia said the people of Nyanza, just like their counterparts in other perceived opposition zones have chosen their political direction in a clear and open manner that must be respected.

Profiling this region had been institutionalized for a very long time and we cannot sit back and watch this act without raising alarm and vehement objection. Let the will of the people in this region be respected. Our appeal is that let every presidential candidate be contented with the votes they received and Kenyans will judge, they declared in the statement.

Regarding police brutality, the clergymen said they were saddened that the IG sounds the alarm of innocence at a time when there was overwhelming evidence of use of excessive force in dealing with anti-IEBC protests.

Prof. Kodia said those protesters are Kenyans and irrespective of their social status their lives matter and are just as important as the lives of those in power.

The life of a street rioter is as important as the life of the child of Boinnet himself, he explained.

The clergymen termed this culture of treating civilians with such brute force a mockery to morality and principles of the rule of law which is not applicable only to protesters but also to Boinnet and his commanders on the ground.

He challenged the security forces to turn the bullets meant for the ordinary citizens elsewhere, cautioning, don’t rejoice in shedding blood. It is sinful, immoral and criminal.

We also ask Dr. Fred Matiang’i the Ag. CS for Interior and Coordination of National Government to withdraw the large contingent of para-military personnel from Nyanza since their presence in the region was a cause of worry.

It’s like seducing a lady and when she has said ‘no’ you must respect that. In view of the above statements, we ask for a complete stop of profiling of the people of Luo Nyanza forthwith. Respect our dignity, nationality and human rights, they declared.

The statement was also signed by the Rev. Dr. Francis Mwai Abiero (Maseno South), the Rt. Rev. Canon Joshua Ouma (Maseno East) and Archbishop, Dr. Habakuk Onyango Abogno of Church of Christ in Africa (CCA).

Dr. James Nyikal, MP Seme declared that if injustice becomes the law then resistance becomes the duty and we the elected leaders will take the resistance duty religiously to ensure the people of this region get their due right.

Kisumu Women Representative for Kisumu, Rossa Buyu claimed that it was a worrying trend not only for the sting of the teargas and pain of the bullet as young people are pulled out of their houses and killed but women get raped as well.

In Kisumu darkness is now terrifying. If pushed against the wall you have to amass all your strength and kick back as hard as you can, she stated, declaring October No Election! October No Election!

Kisumu Senator, Fred Outa castigated Nyanza Regional Commissioner, Wilson Njega for allegedly having taken over the work of the County Commissioner, Mrs. Pauline Dola just to coordinate the visiting of mayhem on the local community.

Source: Kenya News Agency