IDENTITIES NOT DISCLOSED

Seven Huruma ward aspirants grilled over hate leaflets in Eldoret

Uasin Gishu deputy county commissioner Mohammed Mwabuzo says one of them could be behind threats to some communities.

In Summary

• The leaflets had information that four communities should leave the area, citing land ownership.

• The IEBC has warned aspirants to stick to the electoral code of conduct or risk being disqualified.

Aspirant Kimani Wanjohi of the New Democrats Party with his his supporters in Huruma ward, Eldoret, on January 12.
BY-ELECTION: Aspirant Kimani Wanjohi of the New Democrats Party with his his supporters in Huruma ward, Eldoret, on January 12.
Image: MATHEWS NDANYI

Seven Huruma ward by-election aspirants in Eldoret have recorded statements over recent circulation of threatening leaflets in the area.

The DCI summoned them to the Eldoret police station as part of investigations into the leaflets that caused panic among residents. The leaflets had information that four communities should leave the area, citing land ownership.

Uasin Gishu deputy county commissioner Mohammed Mwabuzo said the DCI is still probing the matter. The names of the seven were not disclosed. 

“We believe the leaflets were as a result of the ongoing politics in that area and not other issues like tribalism as has been claimed,” Mwabuzo said.

The by-election will be held on March 4 to replace MCA Peter Chomba who died of Covid-19 last October. The ward has more than 35,000 registered voters and covers a larger part of Eldoret town.

Mwabuzo said some of the aspirants or their supporters may have opted for such tactics to influence voters but added that circulation of the leaflets was a criminal offence, hence those responsible must be brought to book.

He said although they had yet to narrow down to the culprits, the investigations were going on well and no one will be spared if found to have been involved.

At the same time, the IEBC has warned the candidates to stick to the electoral code of conduct or risk being disqualified. Returning officer Peris Maiyo met with the hopefuls in Eldoret where they were briefed on requirements ahead of presentation of their nomination papers next week.

Maiyo said they are prepared for the by-election. “We met all the aspirants and discussed with them all that is required as we prepare for the by-election. They have been briefed on the code of conduct, which they must comply with or the law will catch up with those who go against.”

Jubilee has already picked Chomba’s widow Lucy to be its candidate, but she faces tough opposition from more than 15 competitors. The main opponent, however, is lawyer Kimani Wanjohi of the New Democrats Party.

Kimani is being supported by several other youthful aspirants who quit the race.

“As much as we respect the deceased MCA Chomba for the good work he did, we believe Huruma ward needs someone with the ability and vision to carry out representation of residents at the county assembly,” Wanjohi said.

All aspirants are expected to present their papers to the IEBC for clearance next week after which they will engage in one-month campaigns ahead of the polls.