Lamu, KENYA: Lamu Women Rep. Shakilla Abdalla has said the recent announcement by coast regional coordinator Nelson Marwa listing Lamu as among counties considered as hot spots for potential violence ahead of the general elections, was ill timed.
Shakilla on Wednesday said however much the announcement was done in good faith,the timing was wrong.
She said the announcement was unnecessary and that instead, the security department should have found ways to deal with the pre-disposing issues before election time comes, instead of making such an announcement which obviously creates unwarranted fear and tension among people.
The Women rep who is seeking to retain her seat on an a Wiper party ticket, said the government had a duty to ensure locals from all communities are well protected before and after elections in whichever locations they will be.
She said it’s the duty of the government to stem out any possible causative factors that could lead to violence during and after elections in order to enable for a peaceful election come August 8.
“Having done their research and known that Lamu and the others are potential hot spots for poll violence,I believe they should have silently found means and ways of addressing the real causes of the issue instead of announcing it like that.People are now scared and tense.Its not good and even Marwa knows that.The government must do everything to ensure there elections are peaceful.Deal with any problems now before the time comes,”said Shakilla.
She said Lamu had never before been known for any form of violence unlike other counties in the country and that such an announcement has worn down the image of the county.
“Unlike other counties out there which are known for chaos around election time,no such incidents have been recorded it Lamu and therefore waking up one day and telling the world Lamu is now a potential hot spot for poll violence sounds very untrue,”said Shakilla.
Other counties listed alongside Lamu are Tana River and Kilifi.
Shakilla called on politicians to preach peace and cohesion in the campaign rallies and meetings in order to instill a more stable spirit of oneness and unity among locals.
She urged locals to observe peace and expressed confidence that youth in the county wouldn’t be used to cause chaos.
Shakilla also asked the county commissioner Joseph Kanyiri to be on the look out and arrest and prosecute politicians who recruit youth for the sole purpose of using them to cause trouble and unrest.