Mombasa car dealers secure premises


Some Mombasa car showrooms have been reinforced with iron sheets. [Omondi Onyango, Standard]


Car bazaars and showrooms in Mombasa have had their perimeter walls and fences reinforced as the country goes to the polls.

A spot check by The Standard Sunday showed that motor vehicle bazaars with glass windows are reinforcing their premises with iron sheets and blocking their view from outside while in some shops, cars on display have been driven away to, presumably, safer destinations.

''We are not taking chances,'' a worker we found erecting barriers in one of the car bazaars along Moi avenue said.

Based on the experience of previous elections, there is a potential for disturbances.

Already the Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) has set aside funds to carter for eventualities.

This year's general election is the sixth since the re-introduction of multi-party democracy in Kenya in the early 90s.

The 2007/2008 post-election violence was the worst disturbance in the history of Kenya with over 1,133 deaths and 650,000 displacements, 3,561 injuries, and 117,216 private and 491 government properties destroyed.

The 2017 presidential election was annulled by the Supreme Court of Kenya, followed by a re-run won by President Uhuru Kenyatta but which was marred by low-level violence and an opposition boycott led by Raila Odinga, now the president’s ally and Azimio presidential candidate.

In Mombasa, authorities have identified Likoni, Kisauni and Nyali constituencies as likely flashpoints and beefed up security.

Speaking during a media briefing at the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Mombasa county, County Election Manager, Ms Swalha Yusuf said that detachments from the General Service Unit will be on hand to ensure that peace is maintained throughout the election period.

She said that each of the polling stations will be manned by two armed police officers while at the tallying centres, there will be 20 police officers stationed there.

Mombasa County IEBC manager Ms Swalha Yusuf says the General Service Unit will be ready for eventualities. [File,Standard]

The Kenya Association of Women in Tourism (KAWT) Mombasa chapter through its chairperson, Ms Janet Chami, has pleaded with voters to exhibit maturity and ensure that there is no violence.

''We are yet to fully recover from a pandemic that devastated our economy. Life is not easy. We need to give peace a chance during and after the elections and accept the election outcome,'' Chamia who is also Director of the Jacyjoka Holiday Apartments in the upmarket Nyali areas said.