We're mapping out poll chaos hotspots, says CS

Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi addresses journalists at Karmel Park Hotel in Kisii County. [Sammy Omingo,Standard]

The government is identifying election violence hotspots across the country and putting up measures to curb any chaos ahead of the 2022 General Election, Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i has said.

Dr Matiang’i said the government was collecting information to ensure there are early warning mechanisms as the country expects to have a change of guard in the August polls.

Speaking at Kamel Park Hotel in Kisii town on Thursday during a live interview with all television and radio stations that broadcast in Gusii language and later an interview with journalists, Matiang’i said the government was not leaving anything to chance.

“We are approaching the General Election next year. President Uhuru Kenyatta would want to see a peaceful electioneering process. We would not want to see the scenarios that we had in 2007 and 2017 repeated. That will not happen under his watch,” said Matiang’i.

The CS said his ministry had areas prone to violence on its radar.

Matiang’i said he wouldl not like to go down in history as the Cabinet Secretary who presided over the country’s security sector when things went wrong and that he would be working around the clock to ensure that Kenya remains peaceful and united.

This week, the CS together with other members of the National Multi-Agency Forum on Election Preparedness, which is chaired by Chief Justice Martha Koome met as they continued planning for peaceful elections and hand over of power in 2022.

“The main focus on the National Multi-Agency Forum on Election Preparedness this week was to ensure that the National Treasury is well prepared for the 2022 General Election and all the accompanying preparation requirements,” said Matiangi.

The CS said while they understood the constitutional role of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to conduct elections, the main role of the technical committee on election preparedness was to ensure a smooth exercise. 

Deputy President William Ruto and his United Democratic Alliance party have raised concerns on the membership of the election preparedness team, crying foul over the inclusion of the CJ and some Cabinet Secretaries in the committee.

IEBC, which was initially represented in the committee, pulled out pointing out that it was an independent commission that did not require supervision from any quarters on how best to carry out its primary mandate of ensuring elections are free, fair and transparent. 

Matiang’i called on Kenyans to be vigilant on their security during this festive season and be mindful of the welfare of other Kenyans by assisting the less fortunate to enjoy this season and also to be responsible in their indulgence since this is not the end of the world.

“Some people behave like the festive season is the end of the world. Kenyans should conduct themselves responsibly.