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Major security concerns ahead of Ugenya by-election

Protesters from an ODM rally confront a police officer at Sihay in Ugenya constituency on March 31, 2019. [Denish Ochieng, Standard]

Candidates in the upcoming Ugenya by-election have been summoned to a crisis meeting by officials from security agencies and the electoral body.

Yesterday, security agents claimed they had received intelligence that there was a plot to employ goons to disrupt the mini-poll that is slated for Friday this week.

The meeting, which is aimed at addressing violence that rocked campaigns in the region at the weekend, is part of efforts to reduce tension that has been building between the supporters of two candidates deemed as the front runners.

Ugenya Deputy County Commissioner Pamela Otieno said police were investigating the incidents and would bring suspects to book.

“In the past weekend we experienced violence after rallies. We have agreed that the candidates should control their supporters and avoid acts of hooliganism,” said Ms Otieno.

Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Returning Officer Vincent Saitabau also said they had warned candidates not to engage in acts of violence.

“I wrote to the candidates about the consequences of not respecting the electoral code of conduct. We have enough personnel to ensure that the poll is credible,” said Mr Saitabau.

The mini-poll was called after the High Court nullified the election of incumbent MP Chris Karan (ODM) following a petition filed by former Ugenya MP David Ochieng’ (Movement for Democracy and Growth).

Other candidates are Brian Omondi (Thirdway Alliance Kenya) and Daniel Juma Omondi (Grand Dream Development Party).

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