The Kenyan government has said that security officials deployed to ensure peace during Tuesday’s elections will not resort to violence against any citizen.
Kenya’s acting Cabinet Secretary for Interior in charge of security, Fred Matiangi, addressed the press on Monday saying the security officials have been well-trained and will observe the electoral commission’s code of conduct.
“Violence is not part of the training of security personnel in this country. There are no plans for violence or harassment of citizens … the police will observe the IEB’s code of conduct,” Matiangi said.
He disclosed that hundreds of police officers have been assigned to guard election materials and election officials on Tuesday, while over 150,000 police officers have been deployed across the country.
Violence is not part of the training of security personnel in this country. There are no plans for violence or harassment of citizens ... the police will observe the IEB's code of conduct.
He was quick to add that “there hasn’t been an unusual deployment of security officials as said by reports. Our deployment of security officers is demand driven.”
Matiangi said Kenya has not had any major security incident relating to the elections this year and “this is the most peaceful eve of election we have ever had since 1963.”
He added that only three cases of violence were reported since campaigns began and “we are going to bite back very fast to those who will tamper with security,” he warned.
When questioned by journalists about the allegations of interference, Matiangi said: “as a government, we don’t conduct elections, we only facilitate it.”
He advised voters to go home immediately after casting their ballots.
19.6 million Kenyans will vote on Tuesday, August 8, for a president and 350 members of parliament.
The main presidential contenders are incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga.
There are 15,074 candidates for Member of County Assembly, Member of Parliament, Women Representative, Senator, and Governor; 40,883 polling stations in 290 constituencies, 47 counties.
Voting starts at 6am local time.