STATEMENT ON HOOLIGANISM EXPERIENCED IN KISII TOWN DURING A CAMPAIGN RALLY BY THE JUBILEE-AZIMIO LINEUP IN KISII COUNTY

In recent days, we have witnessed a trend of increased violent incidents during political activities and as Elders from the Gusii Community and of age to advice, do hereby condemn in the strongest terms possible the introduction of violent in our politics from Nairobi based politicians.

A week ago, the Kisii County Jubilee-Azimio team, while on a campaign trail, experienced ugly incidents that should worry every Kenyan who cares about peaceful co-existence, despite our political leanings.

While engaging the residents of Kisii County, a group of youth, whom we strongly believe are being misused by a section of politicians, approached the Jubilee-Azimio motorcade, and started throwing stones and rotten eggs at the leaders who were addressing residents in a peaceful gathering.

As you all know, Gusiis are peace loving, accommodative and very tolerant people. In a number of instances, even when provoked to their doorstep, omogusii community has never been violent, especially political related violence.

In 2007, when most parts of the country were up in flames and the Gusii people who were staying away from home were massacred, it’s only the Gusii region that remained peaceful through the most unfortunate period in the country, a period we never wish to remember.

Back at home, where some of us have been in politics for decades now, we have never experienced any kind of animosity and violence during the political period. Our people have always treated all spirants with utmost respect, awaiting to make their final decision in the ballot. The current governor has been in office for 9 years and despite heavy criticism from his opponents, he has never resorted to violence.

Nonetheless, the run up to the August 9th elections, especially in Kisii County, has introduced a peculiar political style that remains very strange in our County. On several occasions, we have seen a section of youth, in most cases our young men who are boda boda riders, being mobilized to cause mayhem to profiled political leaders.

The climax of such ugly arrangements was experienced at the Gusii Golf Course, during the Azimio- Kisii Chapter rally. A repeat of this incident is what has brought us together here, and for a second time we condemn, in the strongest terms possible, such acts of hooliganism.

As is the norm and practice of the Gusii people, we are gathered here to call for peaceful campaigns ahead of the August general elections. It is important to understand that as a people, we will need to co-exist even beyond the elections, despite who wins and who loses.

We urge all the aspirants to sell their manifesto to the great people of Kisii County in a peaceful and calm manner, and let the voters exercise their God given right of choosing their leaders through the ballot. Let us refrain from abuses, meaningless wars and incitements that are of no benefit to the electorate.

Political players should not import the culture of violence to Gusii, we are requesting our CS for Interior Dr. Fred Matiang’i and the security apparatus to bring the perpetrators of such acts to book. The Independence Electoral and Boundaries Commission should work hand in hand with the Judiciary to ensure politicians linked to violence are not cleared to vie.

Let us embrace and live by the spirit of democracy and multipartyism that our fathers of democracy fought so hard for. As members of the Azimio coalition and as a community, we continue rallying behind H.E. Raila Amolo Odinga as our 5th President. Let’s all remain calm and composed and continue growing our economy even as we await to make our decision at the ballot.

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