December 14th 2017

Top Stories / Counties

Homa Bay aspirant accuses Governor Awiti of violent campaigning, urges police neutrality

“I’m a front runner in this race. How can I interfere with a race which I know I will win? Certainly not,” he said, adding, “The violence is coming from those who have smelled defeat".

By Samuel OwidaWednesday, 29 Mar 2017 19:45 EAT

Mr Magwanga, with loudspeaker, addresses his supporters in Homa Bay town this afternoon when he responded to police summons.

Police in Homa Bay have been urged to expedite investigations into some recent political violence in the county. Kasipul MP Oyugi Magwanga, who is running for the Homa Bay governorship, has today decried the laxity exhibited by police despite overwhelming evidence of the violence visited on his campaign team as well as that of another aspirant Sam Wakiaga.

Mr Magwanga, who was summoned by the police bosses to record his statement on the escalating cases of violence in the gubernatorial contest, accused Governor Cyprian Awiti of perpetrating the violence that saw one youth killed in a political dispute when the county hosted a cultural festival. "Having failed to deliver on his 2013 manifesto, Awiti has now resolved to violence as his only campaign tool,” Mr Magwanga said.

Addressing the press in Homa Bay Town after meeting county security chiefs led by county police commander John Omusanga, Mr Magwanga took issue with the security agencies for deliberately failing to act over the political temperatures that are ever rising as ODM party primaries draw closer.

The ODM lawmaker committed to undertaking peaceful campaigns and nomination processes scheduled for April 19 and urged his opponents to follow suit as the only way to stem the traditional violence “A peaceful electoral process will give the party supporters opportunity to elect candidates of their choice and that’s what I stand for.

"I appeal to police to speed up investigations over the recent political violence witnessed in Karachuonyo constituency in such areas as Kendu Bay Old Town, Gendia and Aros in West Karachuonyo where hired goons unleashed terror on campaign teams of opponents,” Mr Magwanga said. On March 13 at Aros, youths who were campaigning for Mr Wakiaga were attacked and the bus they were travelling in had its windows smashed with hails of stones by goons who laid ambush.

Mr Magwanga distanced himself from political chaos that has rocked Karachuonyo, claiming that as a front-runner in the race, he would be the last person to engage in violence as that would automatically jeopardize his imminent success. “I’m a front runner in this race. How can I interfere with a race which I know I will win? Certainly not,” he said, adding, “The violence is coming from those who have smelled defeat".

The aspirant at the same time encouraged the ODM leadership to investigate the said violence in the county. He praised party leader Raila Odinga for giving a directive of disqualification to whoever causes violence during the nomination. “I don’t support what will taint the party and supporters image in the county. Let the party leadership respond to this by taking action against violence perpetrators,” he said.

Mr Omusanga promised to take swift action on perpetrators of violence, adding that his officers were ready and alert as campaigns hit fever pitch. “We’re alert during this campaigns and I warn politicians to be aware of this as stern action will be executed without fear or favour,” the police boss said.

The writer is a contributing reporter for the Kenya Free Press based in Homa Bay County

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