Mobs disrupt electoral officials trainings in western Kenya

Tuesday October 17 2017

Mobs on Tuesday disrupted planned training sessions for electoral officials in three stations in opposition's western Kenya strongholds of Kisumu, Migori and Homa Bay counties.

In Kisumu, the rabble threw into disarray a meeting of clerks hired to conduct the upcoming elections forcing a change of venue.

Kisumu Returning Officer John Ngutahi said the four-day training event was to prepare 399 presiding and deputy presiding officers.

The attackers, according to Mr Ngutahi, claimed the training was an illegal activity.

“We were just assembling and not all the officers had checked in when the incident happened. The police intervened and we had to relocate to a safer venue,” he said.



Police were also forced to guard another training session at a hotel in Migori after youths attempted to disrupt the preparations for October 26 repeat presidential election.

The youths stormed into a hall where the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) officials had gathered for training and forced them out.

They claimed there would be no elections and no preparations for it unless the reforms their National Super Alliance (Nasa) coalition has demanded are met.

READ: Nasa’s well-crafted game plan to scuttle Kenya election

In Homa Bay, security officers had to rescue the polling clerks after a mob attacked them.

At another training location in the county, police kept at bay angry youths who threatened to attack the IEBC officials, calling them traitors.

Homa Bay County Police Commander Marius Tum said security has been beefed up to in all the training centres across the county.

"The situation has been restored to normalcy after police came in to disperse the youths who wanted to attack the poll officials," said Homa Bay Returning Officer Michael Kosgey.


Meanwhile, local leader, Otieno Ongeta, praised the youths for disrupting the IEBC trainings saying they would not be allowed to work there.

“I thank my people for standing with the position of the coalition (Nasa)," he said.

"Today was meant to mourn the people who were killed in the anti-IEBC protests. People should be on the lookout and ready to flush out any illegal activity.”

READ: Kenya opposition cancels Tuesday anti-IEBC protests

Mr Ongeta, a member of the county assembly (MCA), reiterated Nasa leader Raila Odinga's call that: “There will be no elections without reforms.”

Mr Odinga, who has since pulled out of the repeat election, wants systems and personnel changes made at the IEBC, among other reforms.