Bonchari By-election: ODM, UDA protest against police harassment as voting exercise comes to an end

Bonchari By-election: ODM, UDA protest against police harassment as voting exercise comes to an end

BY KORIR JUMA,CORRESPONDENT,18TH MAY 2021-Politicians have protested against harassment by police in Kisii County during the Bonchari By-election.

Leaders allied to ODM and UDA parties condemned heavy police presence claiming some of their agents had been arrested ahead of the poll.

ODM candidate Pavel Oimeke while addressing the media at Nyamare Polling Station condemned the heavy presence of police claiming that they were harassing his agents and intimidating voters.

ODM candidate Pavel Oimeke during the Bonchari by-election. He voted at Nyamare Polling Station./COURTESY -KBC

“My agent in Nyamare Primary School has this morning been arrested and this is unacceptable. The police are intimidating the voters so that they cannot come out and vote,” he said.

The former EPRA boss in addition urged IEBC returning officers to maintain order during the voting process to avoid further malpractice reported at other stations.

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Elsewhere, UDA candidate Teresa Bitutu urged the government through the police to maintain peace as they provide security during the ongoing Bonchari by-election.

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On police intimidation, Bitutu alleged that the wife to one of her key campaigners had Monday night been arrested after police didn’t find him at home.

“I don’t know what will happen during the day but I pray God that the people’s will be done,” she said.

The UDA candidate at the same time urged her supporters to come out in numbers and vote amid low voter turnout recorded in several polling stations across the county.

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ODM candidate Pavel Oimeke casts her vote at Suneka Primary School Polling Station/COURTESY -KBC

Nyanza Regional Police Commander Karanja Muiruri speaking to journalists confirmed several suspects had been arrested and money meant for voter bribery confiscated.

The police commander also noted that there was heavy police presence in Bonchari for security reasons and they were there to protect all parties alike.

“We were deployed to promote peace, we do not have any hard feelings towards anyone, we are neutral and don’t discriminate against any Kenyan,” he concluded.

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