SECTIONS

Kibaki pledges tight security during polls

By Roselyne Obala

Nairobi, Kenya: President Mwai Kibaki has instructed all security agencies to take necessary steps to ensure the next polls are conducted peacefully.

At the same time, the Head of State directed that decisive action be taken against lawbreakers, whatever their status in society.

“The security agencies should take steps to ensure that all stages leading to the General Election are peaceful,” he said.

Kibaki spoke after holding discussions with members of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), led by Chairman Issack Hassan.

The electoral body officials took the opportunity to brief the President on their preparedness for the forthcoming polls.

The IEBC informed President Kibaki that an aggressive voter education process would begin in a week’s time and that preparations for the elections were going on according to schedule.

Also in attendance were Internal Security Minister Katoo Ole Metito, Justice Minister Eugene Wamalwa, Finance Minister Njeru Githae, Head of Public Service Francis Kimemia, line Permanent secretaries and Inspector General of Police, David Kimaiyo.

The meeting held at Harambee House also reviewed the political parties’ nominations process and the lessons learnt ahead of the March 4 polls.

In reference to the just concluded party primaries, Kibaki also appealed to political parties to avoid escalating tensions that may have arisen from the process and implored them to strictly follow the law.

“Our security forces moved fast to quell the incidences of violence, which were isolated and restricted to a handful of counties,” he noted.

He, however, urged both the local and international media to avoid exaggerating the extent of the violence.

President Kibaki once again assured the public that the Government would take necessary steps to ensure that the General Election would be free, fair and peaceful.

“We ensure the will of the Kenyan people would be reflected in the exercise,” he reiterated.