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Aspirants ban night meetings to boost security ahead of primaries

By Harold Odhiambo | March 27th 2017
Kisumu West MP Olago Aluoch. (Photo: Collins Oduor/Standard)

Banning night meetings is one of the ways aspirants in two constituencies believe will help to enhance peace ahead of party nominations.

In addition, aspirants seeking various seats in Kisumu West and Kisumu East constituencies have signed an accord to involve the police in their campaigns to ensure that they are peaceful.

The leaders believe this will reduce the cases of election-related violence often witnessed during party primaries and elections.

Aspirants seeking various seats in Kisumu West, including area MP Olago Aluoch, met at the local chief's camp where they swore to ensure peaceful campaigns.

The aspirants also mapped out areas they considered hot spots of violence in the two constituencies and agreed to share intelligence with security agencies to avert violence.

"We want to campaign peacefully. We do not want anybody to make inflammatory remarks that could interfere with the peace we are currently enjoying," said Mr Olago.

John Awiti, who is seeking to unseat Olago, urged aspirants to desist from incitement during campaigns and focus on their agenda for the public.

"I am competing against Olago but we treat each other with respect and other aspirants should follow suit," Awiti said, and accused a number of aspirants of taking advantage of funerals to attack their opponents.

Kisumu West Deputy County Commissioner Walter Ngaira said there would be enhanced police patrols and adequate security for aspirants.

He cautioned the aspirants against using hired thugs to act as their security details during political rallies.

"They should notify us in good time when they are planning meetings so we can provide them with security," said Mr Ngaira.

Aspirants in Kisumu East have also agreed to ban political meetings at night to promote peaceful campaigns.

Deputy County Commissioner Josephine Ouko said all the aspirants had agreed to ban night political meetings, which have been blamed for some of the violence witnessed in the past.

"All aspirants have agreed that there will be no meetings past six o'clock in the evening and have also committed to peaceful campaigns," said Ms Ouko.

The decision came after a number of Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leaders urged the party to resolve wrangles in the constituency.

They said two groups were claiming to represent the party in the constituency and expressed fears that this could interfere with nominations.

Kisumu East MP Shakeel Shabbir said the party was lax in resolving the tussle he said was creating confusion ahead of the nominations.

"The ODM head office has not been honest with us. At the moment, we have two groups operating in the constituency and it is not clear who the chairman is," he said.

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