18 October 2017

Kenya: Mobs Disrupt IEBC Training in Kisumu and Vihiga, Again

Photo: Capital FM
(file photo).

Mobs have, again, attacked venues in Kisumu and Vihiga where IEBC officials were holding a training workshop ahead of the repeat presidential poll.

In Kisumu, a training session at the county's Huduma Centre was disrupted after youth stormed in and vandalised chairs and tents that had been erected for the programme.

WOMAN

IEBC had planned to train presiding and deputy presiding officers for the region.

The youths also roughed up a woman the commission had contracted to provide the tents and chairs.

The centre also hosts Kisumu County offices, but the storming in of the youths signals intent to stop any IEBC programmes.

Police responded by heightening security in the wake of the attack, but it was not clear whether the session would continue.

Angry youths also disrupted a training for electoral officials at Chango in Vihiga Constituency, citing lack of reforms to enable a free and fair fresh presidential poll.

The morning incident happened as presiding and deputy presiding officers gathered at the Chango Friends Church for a four-day training.

STONES

Vihiga Returning Officer Isaac Ruto said the session was stopped as the environment would not allow it to proceed after youths threw stones into the training room.

He said the training had been pushed to Thursday at a venue to be decided later.

"Our training has been stopped. We are going for a meeting to deliberate on this now. We will reschedule the training to tomorrow, Thursday," said Mr Ruto.

The attack ensued as another training continued uninterrupted at Vokoli Friends Church in Sabatia, Emuhaya and Luanda.

However, there are fears that the trainings could be disrupted as supporters of the opposition National Super Alliance (Nasa) amplify their their "no reforms, no election" calls.

REACTION

Former Vihiga MP Mr Yusuf Chanzu blamed the opposition for "the illegal acts" and said the attacks were as a result of demonstrations being organised by Nasa.

"Why should people demonstrate in Vihiga? This county does not have a presidential candidate," said Mr Chanzu, the Jubilee point man in Vihiga Constituency.

He urged voters from the county to participate in the polls and ignore calls for no election.

On Tuesday, mobs had also disrupted sessions in Kisumu, Siaya, Homa Bay and Migori and parts of Kakamega County.

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