, NAIROBI, Kenya Nov 23 – A section of leaders have asked security agencies in the country to dismantle organised gangs used by politicians to cause instability in the country.
Led by Deputy President William Ruto, they said the groups pose a danger to the development of the country besides staining the democratic gains in Kenya.
In particular, they noted that the increased use of such criminal outfits to cause violence during elections was denying Kenyans their political freedom.
They spoke on Friday at the Bomas of Kenya, Nairobi, during a thanksgiving ceremony organised by McDonald Mariga who contested on a Jubilee ticket in the recent Kibra by-election which he lost to Imran Okoth of the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM).
Others present were National Assembly Majority Leader Adan Duale, MPs Kimani Ichungwa (Kikuyu), Nixon Korir (Lang’ata), Silvanus Osoro (South Mugirango), Didmus Barasa (Kimilili), Victor Munyaka (Machakos Town), Kimani Ngunjiri (Bahati), Rindikiri Mugambi (Buuri), Vincent Musyoka (Mwala), John Kiarie (Dagoretti South), Oscar Sudi (Kapseret), Bernard Shinali (Ikolomani), Nimrod Mbai (Kitui East) and Nominated Senator Millicent Omanga.
“By allowing violence to determine election outcomes, we are setting a dangerous precedent ahead of the 2022 race,” said Duale.
The Garissa Township MP said Kenya had made progress in the political space, paving way for Kenyans to choose their leaders freely.
However, he explained, this new trend of using threats and violence risks taking Kenya backwards.
“The country would soon have goons as their leaders. This is perilous to the future of our country,” he added.
Duale told the Inspector General of Police to act independently and rid the country of elements that threaten its stability.
“If you (Inspector General of Police) do not take action against those who perpetuated violence during the Kibra by-elections, then you would be setting stage for confrontations in every corner of the country.”
The leaders said the progress made in Kenya needed to be guarded if the country’s development agenda were to be realised.
“We shun stale politics and embrace competition based on our development credentials,” said Ichungwa.
The Kikuyu MP said politicians have the cardinal role of safeguarding the rule of law.
“We must not glorify and sanitise violence; if you think you will use violence to influence election results then that is not the Handshake that Kenyans want,” he observed.
Korir wondered how some politicians had given the Kibra mini-poll a clean bill of health when several people were nursing injuries.
“The violence in Kibra must be condemned, whether caused by ODM or Jubilee,” he said.
Osoro urged youths to be alert, and avoid being used by politicians in causing havoc. Instead, he asked them to enroll in trainings that would better their skills thereby making them employable.
Despite the hostility, Ruto lauded the people of Kibra for rallying behind Jubilee candidate.
“I want to tell our friends in ODM if they want to go forward as a political party, they must renounce violence,” said the Deputy President.
He said violence cannot be used as a political tool to transform Kenya.
“They cannot hide their violence anywhere. You cannot hide violence behind Building Bridges Initiative or the Handshake,” explained Ruto.
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