Police said Wednesday it will start applying an iron hand when dealing with people who have insisted on defying Covid-19 guidelines during campaigns and other laws that are meant to protect the integrity of the electoral process.
According to the law enforcement agency, despite numerous engagements with politicians -- individual actors and political groups continue to engage in activities that are interfering the smooth flow of the campaign program.
“During these first 9 days, we have repeatedly cautioned all, against acts of civil disobedience like holding unauthorized and defiant campaigns, burning of tyres, use of illegal roadblocks, deflating tyres of police vehicles, intimidation, looting shops, dangerous driving on major roads and provocative behavior towards law enforcement personnel,” Okoth Ochola, the Inspector General of Police, said in a statement.
The IGP says since politicians have failed to follow the guidelines, they decided to adopt a tougher approach to preserve the integrity of the electoral process.
He says they have dispatched “specialist teams and quick reaction teams” to identify ring leaders (and principals) for apprehension in the face of crime.
“We have disseminated our comprehensive policing plan to all territorial commanders for them to implement without fear or favor,” he said.
Additionally, according to Ochola, the Electoral and Political Offences Department at CID headquarters has obtained videos of the respective campaign trails, and started gathering evidence to press formal charges, on candidates, campaign agents and influencers who are caught on the wrong side of the law.
The campaigns have been running for nine days so far and they are to end on January 12