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1,286 police officers mobilized to Nairobi for planned repeat polls

By Cyrus Ombati | Published Wed, October 25th 2017 at 00:06, Updated October 25th 2017 at 12:49 GMT +3
Police officers guard IEBC office during a demonstration at Anniversary tower in Nairobi on Monday 09/05/16. [PHOTO:BONIFACE OKENDO]

More than 1,200 new police officers have been mobilised to back up security ahead of Thursday's repeat presidential polls.

The 1,286 officers have been mobilised from Kiambu, Murang'a, Machakos, Kirinyaga, Embu, Kajiado, Tharaka Nithi and Meru counties.

Another group of 1,205 officers will be posted to Nyanza region. They have been mobilised from Narok, Nakuru, Elgeyo Marakwet, Baringo, Kericho, Nandi, Nyandarua, Bomet, Trans Nzoia and West Pokot counties.

The officers have been posted to counties seen to be opposed to the repeat polls amid fears of violence.

Some 460 officers have been posted to Western region to back up their colleagues while Mombasa will get 82 more personnel.

Deputy head of police operations, Henry Barmao, ordered the officers to report to their new stations by Tuesday, amid fears of an accommodation crisis in the areas where the officers have been redeployed.

Mr Barmao said the extra personnel have orders to enhance security in tomorrow's poll.

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Police are also expected to use personnel from the Kenya Wildlife Service, National Youth Service, Prisons and Kenya Forest Service in some places to beef up operations.

The personnel deployed from these agencies have been gazetted as special police officers.

Police say they are ready to provide security for the polls even with the resistance from the National Super Alliance (NASA) supporters.

The Opposition has vowed that tomorrow's poll will not take place.

On the other side Jubilee Party says the polls must continue.

The Opposition wants both systems and personnel changes at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), including the dropping of Dubai-based ballots printer Al Ghurair and technology supplier OT-Morpho of France.

According to NASA's presidential candidate, tomorrow's poll has already been rigged in favour of President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Raila, who was Uhuru's main opponent in the repeat poll, threw a spanner in the works when he pulled out of the race early this month.

While annulling Uhuru's victory in August 8 poll, the Supreme Court said it was riddled with illegalities and irregularities, and ordered a repeat within 60 days.

The Opposition has accused the electoral commission and its technical team of bungling the election in favour of Uhuru.

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