Emergence of Armed Criminal Gangs Worrying Human Rights Defenders

Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) Network in Trans Nzoia County are worried over the emergence of armed criminal gangs and goons funded by politicians to cause chaos in opponents’ political rallies.

Led by Kefa Were, the network’s chairperson, the CSOs says training of militia by political leaders poses a serious threat to national security ahead of August 9 general elections.

They are now calling on the security agencies to heighten surveillance, arrest and charge such politicians.

We are seeing the emergence of armed gangs who are trained and financed by politicians. Such politicians should be arrested, charged and disqualified from contesting because they are violating elections’ code of conduct and laws of Kenya,” Were said.

The founder and Director of the Center for Restoration of Human Rights Democracy (CRHRD) also asked politicians in the country not to manipulate and exploit unemployed youths to achieve their selfish interests.

I have never seen our politicians mobilize their sons and daughters to cause a state of mayhem in political rallies. If you cannot use your children, why should you use unemployed youths to disturb peace in other candidates’ rallies?” he asked.

The CSOs network Chair further asked Interior and Coordination of National Government Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i not to take sides in the country’s succession politics.

Interior CS Dr. Fred Matiang’i at a past event.

He also lauded the recent launch of a Forensic laboratory at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), headquarters.

CS Matiang’i should not play bi-partisan politics; instead he should work towards ensuring that Kenyans enjoy peace. We are also happy that DCI now have a forensic laboratory, we hope the lab will make access to justice more efficient, it should not be there as a flower,” Were added.

On his part, Richard Masanja, also a human rights activist condemned incidents of political intolerance in the country and asked the electorate to accommodate divergent views.

“If you have a contrary opinion to that of your neighbor, the best thing to do is to accommodate him/her. Resorting to violence is uncouth and criminal in nature; remember we need Kenya even after August 9” Masanja appealed.

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