Trans Nzoia County Commissioner (CC) Mr. Samson Ojwang has issued a stern warning to candidates for elective seats who are engaging youths in electoral malpractices as campaigns for the August 9 General Elections gain memontum.
Ojwang made the warning on Wednesday at Mowlem village, Chepchoina division in Endebess Sub County during an election sensitization public baraza, which brought together members of public and national government administrative officers.
While addressing the gathering, the CC expressed disappointment over what he described as recorded cases of political hooliganism, majorly involving the youths, as reported from some parts of the County.
With the campaigns gaining momentum as candidates for various seats struggling to outdo each other, Ojwang castigated a section of them for engaging their supporters into electoral offences.
“Security records indicate that cases of candidates attempting to disrupt campaign activities and rallies for their opponents are steadily rising across the County,” he observed, adding women candidates are the major victims of such pre-planned violence activities.
“We have received worrying information detailing how some politicians were arming themselves and their supporters with crude weapons including pangas, machetes and clubs,” added Ojwang.
The CC also accused some local politicians of distributing outlawed liquor and drug substances to youthful supporters whose sole intention was to psych the youths into violent activities.
According to the officer, female candidates have been the most affected by the developing incidents of electoral malpractices in the county. He cited a recent incident in which one of the candidates for the Women Representative slot was roughed up by rowdy youths at Matisi area near Kitale town.
“My security team is investigating reported allegations in which female candidates and supporters have allegedly been sexual molested by sections of violent youths,” revealed Ojwang who advised the women to be wary of such criminal actions.
Ojwang, however, assured the female politicians and county residents in general of the government’s commitment toward provision of maximum security during this electioneering cycle.
“We have adequate security personnel that have been spread in all parts of the County. The law will ruthlessly deal with any politician or supporter that will be caught engaging in election malpractices,” warned Ojwang.
He appealed to candidates eyeing the ward representative, county women representative, members of national assembly, senatorial and gubernatorial positions to conduct their campaigns peacefully using their manifestos to enable the electorate make informed decisions before the August 9 poll.
The administrator urged the electorate to thoroughly evaluate the candidates before voting them. He asked them vote for leaders with high sense of integrity and capable of driving the County’s economic development agenda alongside that one for the national government.
“Thus, the main objective for this baraza is to emphasize that the forthcoming poll should not be a source for creating clan, tribal, religious, racial, political as well as class divisions among residents of this great county and the country at large,” remarked Ojwang, adding a series of similar barazas have been lined up in all the five sub counties.
The CC was accompanied by County Police Commander Mrs. Jacinta Wesonga her prisons counterpart Mr. Emmanuel Odhiambo and area Deputy County Commissioner Mr. Rashid Kwanya.