IEBC warns candidates over destruction of rivals’ billboards

One of the billboards that were destroyed in Kieni constituency. A candidate, Mr Njoroge Chieni claimed his opponents were behind the destruction.

Photo credit: Stephen Munyiri I Nation Media Group

The electoral commission is working with the Directorate of Criminal Investigations to arrest candidates destroying their rivals’ campaign materials.

Nyeri County Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) returning officer Anastasia Nduku said the agency is ready to conduct a peaceful election.

Ms Nduku warned of stern action against candidates found vandalising the campaign materials of others. 

She said the IEBC would not tolerate election violence and was liaising with the DCI to bring to book candidates said to be behind such vandalism. 

Destroyed by unknown vandals

Mr Njoroge Wainaina Chieni, the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party candidate for the Kieni parliamentary seat, protested after his campaign materials valued at Sh2.4 million were destroyed by unknown vandals two weeks ago.

Speaking in Nyeri town on Tuesday, Ms Nduku said she had received Mr Chieni’s complaints but because the IEBC does not have investigative powers, only the DCI could help.

"We are well prepared to conduct free and fair elections. By the ninth of this month we will begin to conduct civic education. We ask politicians to conduct peaceful campaigns. We shall not allow them to vandalise their rivals’ campaign materials," she said.

Ms Nduku said no major incidents of campaign violence had been reported in Nyeri County.   

Mr Chieni claimed goons hired by some of his opponents descended on billboards erected at strategic sites in the constituency and pulled them down while damaging others.

The incident happened on the eve of a tour of the area by Deputy President William Ruto's running mate Mr Rigathi Gachagua and the Kenya Kwanza brigade amid rising tension between the alliance and the Azimio la Umoja One Kenya coalition in Nyeri.

"Vandalising your opponents campaign materials is a serious breach of the IEBC elections code of conduct that each of us subscribed to [and] which should be observed by all. I hope the relevant authorities will act fast to stem this vice,” he said.

But Mr Chieni appealed to his supporters not to take revenge for their opponents’ actions.
 

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