Electoral body issues warning over Matungu

Thursday, February 11th, 2021 00:00 |
IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati. Photo/File

Dennis Lumiti

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has sounded a warning to politicians campaigning in the Matungu parliamentary seat campaigns to maintain peace or risk being disqualified from the race.

The electoral body said yesterday that it was concerned about the conduct of some of the candidates and their supporters in the campaigns.

The IEBC Mumias Returning Officer John Kirui said they were monitoring the activities of some of the contestants and their campaigners.

Kirui told the candidates to contain their campaigners and supporters to avoid chaos in the constituency ahead of the by-election slated for March 4.

“We have witnessed cases of violence, threats and intimidation from campaigners and supporters associated with some of the candidates. This must stop,” said Kirui.

His warning comes against a backdrop of heated campaigns in the constittuency where some leaders were quoted threatening their opponents.

Chaos erupted at a funeral ceremony in the constituency a week ago when politicians clashed.

Former CS Rashid Echesa was the first to take a swipe at Lugari MP Ayub Savula warning him to stop his verbal attacks against Deputy President William Ruto, who was present.

“I am telling you Savula that if you stand here and insult the Deputy President I will deal with you,” Echesa said.

But Savula hit back saying he was not afraid of anybody and dismissed Echesa as a “small thing that can not even be elected as a Member of the County Assembly”.

“I am an elected leader and you have no capacity to threaten me. Who do you think you are yet you do not even hold any elective position in this county?” Savula said.

Echesa, who is campaigning for the UDA candidate Alex Lanya, had also threatened other leaders including the ANC Party Leader Musalia Mudavadi, COTU Secretary-General Francis Atwoli, Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya and Senator Cleophas Malalah.

But Atwoli scoffed at the threats saying “Savula alone would deal with Echesa”.

After the exchanges, the campaigns have been chaotic with Oparanya being the latest victim when his convoy was pelted with stones last weekend while holding campaigns for the ODM candidate David Were.

Echesa has also gone underground after he allegedly assaulted political activist Desterio Okumu. 

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