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Presidential candidates promise to end discrimination, extrajudicial killings in North Kenya

The state has been criticised over unlawful arrests and disappearances

In Summary

• “Under my government all arrested persons have rights and if someone is suspected to have committed a crime, they will be charged in courts of law,” Ruto said.

• “If someone is a criminal let him be charged in court but extrajudicial killings will not be acceptable. Our government will work towards abolishing such,” Karua said.

UDA presidential candidate William Ruto addressing residents of Garissa last Saturday.
NON-DISCRIMINATORY: UDA presidential candidate William Ruto addressing residents of Garissa last Saturday.
Image: STEPHEN ASTARIKO

The front runners in the presidential race have promised to end discrimination and extrajudicial killings in Northeastern.

While both Deputy President William Ruto and Azimio La Umoja flagbearer Raila Odinga have visited all the three counties, Roots leader George Wajackoya was also in Garissa.

The government has always come under sharp criticism over extrajudicial killings, as suspects are arrested without being arraigned and in most cases killed.

Residents of the border counties also face challenges in the acquisition of citizenship documents, with applicants facing stringent measures such as vetting panels.

“If children are born by Kenyan parents they have a right to get birth certificates, IDs and passports. However, people here are asked to bring documents of grandfathers and great grandfathers as prove of citizenship. My government will remove such blatant discriminations,” Wajackoya said.

Passports have also been a nightmare for residents, a thing that the top presidential candidates now say they will reverse.

Azimio presidential candidate Raila Odinga addressing residents of Mandera at Moi stadium in June.
HUMAN RIGHTS: Azimio presidential candidate Raila Odinga addressing residents of Mandera at Moi stadium in June.
Image: STEPHEN ASTARIKO

Ruto said in the Kenya Kwanza government acquisition of citizenship documents will be non-discriminatory.

The UDA presidential candidate spoke to residents during his visit to Garissa on Sunday.

“Under Kenya Kwanza government all people in Garissa and Somalis will get their IDs and passports like any other Kenyan from Eldoret, Kisumu or Kiambu. We will scrap vetting under my government,” he said

DP Ruto said many children, fathers and daughters have been lost to extrajudicial killings adding that his go vernment will ensure there is no enforced disappearance and extra judicial killings.

“Under my government all arrested persons have rights and if someone is suspected to have committed a crime, they will be charged in courts of law,” he said.

During their Garissa visit Raila and his running mate Martha Karua also said their government will ensure justice for victims of human rights violations and and an end to the same.

Karua said their administration will work towards implementing the 2010 constitution to the latter.

She said enforced disappearances that have been rampant in the region will end after they are elected into office.

“If someone is a criminal let him be charged in court but extrajudicial killings will not be acceptable. Our government will work towards abolishing such,” Karua said while speaking in Dadaab.

The candidates also promised to establish a meat processing firm and improve water access in the drought prone counties.

Other issues that prominently featured amongst presidential candidates fighting for the Northeastern vote basket are education, livestock and infrastructure.

(Edited by Bilha Makokha)

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