Madaraka Day: Mandera leaders call for peaceful campaigns

Mandera Governor Ali Roba

Mandera Governor Ali Roba during Madaraka Day. The outgoing governor has called for peaceful political campaigns in Mandera.

Photo credit: Manase Otsialo | Nation Media Group

Clan elders and leaders from Mandera County have called for peace, tolerance and respect as political campaigns gain momentum across the country.

The elders, led by Ugas Abdi Mohamed Farah, called on politicians from across the divide to respect each other and cultivate clan cohesion as they campaign in the county.

“Political season is with us again and this is when politicians will say anything to gain political mileage. We are appealing to politicians not to divide our community but instead rally for peaceful coexistence,” Mr Farah said.

Mr Osman Rakiso, an elder, warned that signs of intolerance by politicians are fast showing up.

“We are witnessing ugly incidents of people being incited against each other just because of politics but I want to ask all politicians to tone down and ensure our unity as they campaign,” he said.

In his speech during Madaraka Day fete, Mandera Governor Ali Roba appealed to all aspirants in Mandera to carry out their campaigns with respect and high regard for peace and cohesion.

“Finally let me take this early opportunity to wish you a peaceful campaign season in our county. Whereas most aspiring leaders in Mandera are carrying out their campaigns with respect and decorum befitting a leader, few individuals have taken the trajectory of inciting the masses into violence,” he said.

The outgoing governor added, “Remember only a stupid leader will believe that he can gain politically by inciting the masses. Wewe omba kura kwa Amani na raia pia waung’e mkono mtu wao kwa amani (campaign peaceful and let the residents support their candidate of choice peacefully).”

Mr Roba also asked residents to restrain themselves from disrupting rallies of opponents.

“If you don’t support a candidate, avoid attending their rallies and if you do attend, you must listen calmly even if the opponent is saying something you do not wish to hear. Remember campaigns will come and go but we will remain together in our county as brothers and sisters,” he said.

His appeal came just a day after a political meeting organised by Mr Mohamed Adan Khalif, a gubernatorial candidate for the United Democratic Movement (UDM) partywas interrupted.

A fight broke out in the meeting leaving a few people injured after some individuals stormed the meeting shouting a rival gubernatorial candidate’s name.

Mandera County Commissioner Onesmus Kyatha warned that the security agencies in Mandera will not hesitate in arresting and prosecuting politicians inciting the locals to violence.

“Security agencies in Mandera are very alert and ready to take action against any individual engaging in lawlessness during this campaign period. Those hurling insults to their competitors are top on our list,” he said.

The Mandera county security committee chair warned parents against allowing their children into political rallies.

 “We are having children attending political meetings and rallies instead of being in school. I challenge parents to ensure their children are in school and they must stop dragging these children into political rallies,” he said.

The governor also used the platform to sell Mr Khalif and Ms Umulkher Kassim as his preferred candidates for the position of governor and woman representative respectively.

Ms Kassim is now under Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) radar with a recent report showing she failed to resign as public servant by February 9, 2022in line with section 43(5) of the Elections Act 2011.

She has served as a nominated Member of Mandera County Assembly (MCA) since 2013.

Mandera East KANU parliamentary aspirant Abdi Abdullahi Alio is faced with the same fate.

Also flagged is Mr Hassan Noor Hassan, Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) gubernatorial candidate.

EACC said Mr Noor was charged in 2016 with other members of the Tender Committee at the Devolution Ministry.

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