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Denzel Musumba

Denzel Musumba


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In the face of rising campaign tension, police on Monday issued guidelines on how “Yes” and “No” rallies should be conducted.The rules, which borrow heavily from the Inter Party Parliamentary Group (IPPG) reforms proposed just before the 1997 general elections, take effect immediately. Laying down the rules, Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere said they were intended to ensure peace during the campaigns. Conveners of meetings were reminded that they need to inform the police of their intention to hold the meeting three days before the event. The guidelines come a day after Bungoma villagers stoned a campaign helicopter carrying Forestry and Wildlife minister Noah Wekesa. They were trying to stop it from landing because they wanted the campaign meeting postponed. The pilot landed on the third attempt. Mr Iteere said the matter was being investigated and those involved would be charged in court. In another incident, “Yes” supporters in Suswa attempted to stop a “No” rally and police had to intervene. Ms Lydia Masikonde, a nominated councillor and daughter of National Heritage minister William ole Ntimama has been charged with incitement to violence over the incident. In a similar incident, the driver of Water minister Charity Ngilu, Mr Mutuku Musili was charged with two counts of assault and robbery after a campaign incident. Mr Iteere said security measures had been taken to ensure that the kind of chaos seen in 2007 does not recur. “The possible insecurity flash points have been profiled and adequate measures taken to prevent any possible breakdown of law and order,” he said. Most of trouble spots are in the Rift Valley but there are other “pockets” across the country that police feel need heavier deployments. In Rift Valley alone 15,000 officers will be deployed as reinforcements. They include undercover officers who are already on the ground to collecting intelligence.