Hot spot:GSU to be deployed in Kisumu next week
Kisumu, Kenya: A contingent of General Service Unit officers is set to arrive in Kisumu next week as political campaigns intensify in the county ahead of the March 4 polls.
Security measures have been beefed up and peace campaigns intensified following the mapping out of Kisumu county as one of the major violence hotspots in the country. The County has 35 hotspots.
Kisumu East District Officer 1 Solomon Chanzira on Friday said residents should not be scared when they see the officers patrolling the county.
Chanzira sad that they are not going to take chances with the security of Kisumu residents and they do not want a repeat of whatever happened in 2008.
Speaking at a peace campaign dubbed ‘Sitarusha mawe tena’, the DO 1 said that there were allegations that that the business community of Indian Origin were not restocking their shops for fear of violence.
“The nomination exercise was a challenge and we overcame, so shall we overcome the general election,” said Chanzira.
In a bid to ensure there is maximum peace during campaigns, March 4 and immediately after the poll results are announced, security personnel and the international community is to monitor 35 spots in the county.
The list by Champions of Peace Movement indicates Kisumu Central constituency has the highest number of hotspots followed by Kisumu East. The areas include Kondele, Manyatta, Nyalenda, Kawater, Kachok, Bandani, Jua Kali and Buspark.
The movement’s officials Elly Opondo said they mapped 35 areas based on the 2007/2008 post election violence and riots that have been taking place in the county from time to time.
It is in Kondele where the junction connecting Kisumu-Kakamega Highway and Manyatta is located and acts as a notorious base for many idlers especially during the day.
In Kisumu East, the movement mapped out Nyamasaria, Mamboleo, Kasawili, Chigalali, Koyango market and carwash, adding that violence syndicates are based at Koptit where the road was blocked following the Orange Democratic Movement primaries.
Muhoroni constituency has Kibigori, Kopeli, Masogo, Fort Teman and Awasi that were hit in 2007 and ODM primaries.
The areas were mapped out due to susceptibility to political manipulation of cane cutters by candidates and accessibility of machetes. It is also because the constituency borders Rift Valley.
Kisumu West has Holo, Kisian, Otonglo, Daraja Mbili and Maseno. In Nyakach, inter community tensions has Katito, Pap Onditi and Sondu as the key areas. Nyando-Ahero, Rabuor, Kabongo and Nam Bay, while in the newly created Seme constituency has Kombewa and Kit Mikai.
On Friday, Opondo said the areas mapped out also act as stopovers for politicians during campaigns and bases for boda boda (motor cycle) riders.
“We are now targeting boda boda riders in peace campaigns because they are influential in all the mapped out areas. They act as pillars of peace in this place,” he said during a meeting with 230 riders in Kisumu.
The movement is targeting more than 30,000 riders to be champions of peace and has given them jackets with messaged at the back.