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Yes, punish those who defaced our cities

By The Standard | Aug 24th 2017 | 2 min read

The proliferation of posters advertising the suitability of aspirants to various political offices so roused the National Environmental Management Authority (Nema) that it threatened to slap the offenders with a fine. Either that threat went unheeded because everywhere the eye lands in most towns and trading centres, lies a campaign poster. There is no lamp post, billboard, wall or surface where these posters cannot be found.

Not even vital road signs have been spared. That is in spite of prominent warnings by the Kenya National Highways Authority of a Sh85,000 fine for posters placed on road furniture.

Nema's beef was with campaign agents who pasted posters everywhere without the slightest care about the environmental impact their actions posed. Other than being an eyesore, overtime, the posters will peel off the walls and the lampposts and clog the drainage systems, causing floods when it rains.

Candidates were to deposit bond money, refundable once Nema establishes a candidate had removed the posters. Only Boniface Mwangi, a loser in the Starehe MP seat race, and Mike Sonko, now the Nairobi governor, have mobilised their supporters to pull down the posters. Their acts are commendable. Have the rest forfeited their money? And now the IEBC has joined the list of those seeking to enforce the clearance of campaign posters with even stringent penalties that include banning contestants from future races.

This is a move in the right direction and deserves the support of all as we strive to not only keep our surroundings clean, but also pleasant.

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