DCI still probing militia training claims in Uasin Gishu — Kihara

Mandago, two others record statements, deny wrongdoing, say only inspectorate officers trained.

In Summary

• Uasin Gishu  commissioner Stephen Kihara says DCI following up after some of those linked recorded statements in Nakuru two weeks ago.

• Governor for Uasin Gishu Jackson Mandago, Speaker of the county assembly David Kiplagat and one MCA were summoned, questioned.

Uasin Gishu county commissioner Stephen Kihara in Eldoret on June 21
MILITIA CLAIMS: Uasin Gishu county commissioner Stephen Kihara in Eldoret on June 21

The government is still investigating claims youth have been trained as militia in Uasin Gishu ahead of the August 9 general election.

Uasin Gishu county commissioner Stephen Kihara on Tuesday said DCI officers were following up after some of those allegedly linked to a militia recorded statements in Nakuru two weeks ago.

The existence of a militia has not been proved.

Uasin Gishu Governor Jackson Mandago has said its enforcement officers, not militia,  have been trained at the Chebororwa Agricultural Training Centre. He denied wrongdoing. 

Mandago, Assembly Speaker David Kiplagat and one MCA were summoned to Nakuru and questioned.

Kihara said all those allegedly linked to the training are under investigation. 

Last week he presided over the graduation of more than 100 county enforcement officers and fire fighters at the institution.

Kihara, who was speaking in Eldoret, said the government had been aware of the militia training claims even before elders from the region raised concerns about the matter.

“We mobilised all our security teams to deal with the matter even before anyone talked about it. That is why even some of those suspected have already recorded statements and the matter is still being investigated,”Kihara said.

He said those trained by the county and the individuals who carried out the training were still being investigated. “We have to find out the truth about all those allegations in the ongoing probe.”

Independent governor candidate Bundotich Kiprop Buzeki also accused Mandago and his team of planning incitement, targeting him and others in the county. Buzeki is running for governor as an independent and Mandago is running for Senate on the UDA ticket.

Mandago dismissed Buzeki terming him a desperate candidate attempting to whip up sympathy from nothing.

“We cannot as a county participate in such an illegal activity [training militia] and we know some politicians who are failures but are seeking cheap sympathy," Mandago said.

At the same time, the government said it has put in place structures to ensure tight security and peace during the general election.

Kihara said the county has activated all security systems and tapped village elders and peace committees at all levels.

He asked politicians to stop accusing each other of false security threats ahead of the election.

Uasin Gishu Deputy Governor Daniel Chemno also urged young people not to misuse the internet, especially social media, and spread false or incendiary information before the polls.

Chemno said youth should instead use available opportunities to work online and earn a living. He said they should promote peace and unity and not be exploited by politicians to make trouble and frighten voters.

(Edited by V. Graham)

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