Muggings and traffic gridlocks downside of city political rallies

United Democratic Alliance leader DP William Ruto campaigns in Ngara, Nairobi [Jenipher Wachie, Standard]

City residents have been urged to be vigilant during political campaigns as reports of petty thieves emerged during the twin rallies held by the two main coalitions on Wednesday.

Central OCPD Mr David Baariu and his Starehe counterpart Mr Julius Kiragu said even though police presence will be enhanced, residents must also remain vigilant.

“During this period of politics and campaigns, I advice people attending political rallies and those using public spaces to be extra vigilant and alert,” said Mr Baariu.

Mr Kiragu said police presence in political rallies will be enhanced and asked politicians seeking to hold rallies and campaigns in the city to liaise with the police for security arrangement.

The officers were reacting to reports of muggings where people were robbed of phones and other personal items that happened on Wednesday when two political outfits held rallies in the city.

Many people lost their valuables to pickpockets and muggers as Azimio la Umoja and Kenya Kwanza held separate rallies and visited various areas to woo voters.

As the politicians traversed the city, traffic snarl ups were recorded with many residents reaching their destinations late at night.

Security and traffic police officers seemed to have been caught unawares by the traffic gridlocks as their concentration was more on the political rallies than on the flow of traffic.

Kenya Kwanza led by Deputy President Dr William Ruto and ANC party leader Mr Musalia Mudavadi campaigned in Starehe, Makadara and Kamukunji constituencies while Azimio la Umoja was in Dagoretti North.

Dr Ruto and Mr Mudavadi made stop overs and addressed supporters at Fig Tree bus terminus in Ngara, Country bus station, Gikomba market and City Stadium.

The Azimio la Umoja entourage, led by ODM MPs Simba Arati (Dagoretti North), Babu Owino (Embakasi East), George Aladwa (Makadara) and an aspirant for Dagoretti North constituency Beatrice Elachi, passed through Gitanga Road to Kawangware.

“During this campaign period, its better if politicians restrict their campaigns to stadiums and not on roads especially in the evening as people going to their homes from work are inconvenienced,” said Ms Linet Moraa, a Nairobi resident. 

At City Stadium bus stop, one woman lost her purse and a mobile phone and other passengers came to her help and paid for her the bus fare.

Along Gitanga Road, some motorists were also robbed of their phones and other valuables by people who passed themselves off as supporters of the politicians.

Mr Kiragu, said that the muggers who robbed people at Fig Tree when the DP was addressing the public will be arrested and prosecuted.