- Parts of the Rift Valley, Coast, Nairobi, Kiambu and Kisumu have been identified as potential electoral violence hotspots.
- Interior Affairs Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho and National Police Service spokesman George Kinoti assured that peace will prevail in the lead up to, during, and after the August elections.
- Naivasha, Burnt Forest, parts of Uasin Gishu, border points of Nandi and Kisumu counties, Trans-Mara, Mombasa, and parts of Lamu have been marked as potential violence hotspots.
- In Nairobi, Kibera and Mathare slums, Kariobangi and Dandora are on the list, as is Kiambu and Kisumu.
Police officers will arrest anyone who refuses to accept the results of the August elections, calls for mass action, or carves out parts of the country as their exclusive political zones.
These are some of the recommendations in a government document seen by the Nation on Monday, that also criminalises “incitement, zoning areas exclusively as belonging to particular candidates or parties, engaging organised criminal gangs to intimidate opponents, bribery of voters, disruption of opponents’ campaign meetings, and encroachment by people living near forests.”
After voting, likely offences are listed as “refusal to accept results, incitement and calling for mass action, disruption of counting of votes, announcing incorrect results, arson, vandalism and interference with government installations within forests — like water resources, communication installations and power lines”.
Parts of the Rift Valley, Coast, Nairobi, Kiambu and Kisumu have been identified as potential electoral violence hotspots and security agents will meet in Nairobi on Tuesday to map out a strategy to contain any flare-ups before they degenerate into full-scale violence.
Among the plans they are proposing is the recruitment of additional police officers to grow the force to 100,000, digital surveillance of key towns and cities, arming and equipping of security personnel, as well as enlisting of special agents from other arms of the country’s security services.
PEACE WILL PREVAIL
Interior Affairs Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho and National Police Service spokesman George Kinoti, in separate interviews on Monday, said top security organs were already aware of these threats, but assured that peace will prevail in the lead up to, during, and after the August elections.
“We have put in place elaborate operations plans which will be executed by our security agencies,” said Mr Kibicho. “From the security point of view, we are paying a lot of attention to the elections.”
Mr Kinoti said the plan is broken into “specifics” that respond to challenges unique to each county or a cluster of counties.
The plan was initially revealed to county commanders and their deputies at the annual Inspector General’s conference in Nairobi on December 14 last year.
“Since then there have been timely reviews because security issues are never static,” said Mr Kinoti. “The county commanders and their deputies have been involved in these reviews because we shall depend on them for implementation, and they are also familiar with challenges on the ground.
“Safe, secure and peaceful electioneering period is top on National Police Service agenda.”
It is understood that Naivasha, Burnt Forest, parts of Uasin Gishu, border points of Nandi and Kisumu counties, Trans-Mara, Mombasa, and parts of Lamu have been marked as potential violence hotspots.