Police boss: ‘Hottest’ violence hotspot Mathira under watch

The church in Mbiriri, Kieni in Nyeri

The church in Mbiriri, Kieni in Nyeri County where DP Ruto and his allies were expected to attend Sunday service on September 5, 2021. Rival groups clashed ahead of the DP’s arrival.

Photo credit: Nicholas Komu | Nation Media Group

Nyeri residents planning to cause chaos during and after the August 9 General Election have been warned of dire consequences.

County Police Commander Ambrose Oloo said police would deal ruthlessly with troublemakers.
From Monday, Mr Oloo said, a special anti-riot squad in each sub-county will undergo rigorous refresher drills under instructors from Kiganjo Police Academy.

Mr Oloo was speaking in Nyeri town at a forum on election preparedness that was chaired by the Nyeri County Commissioner Mohamed Barre.

Mathira constituency, the political backyard of Deputy President William Ruto's running mate Rigathi Gachagua, was cited as the "hottest" violence hotspot in the county during elections “and will get special attention from security agencies”.

Participants recalled an incident 12 years ago when 29 people were killed in cold blood in Gathaithi by a criminal gang in a revenge attack against members of a vigilante group.

Speakers, who came from all Nyeri constituencies, cited hate speech and incitement to violence by politicians as some of the biggest challenges ahead of the August 9 elections.

Mr Oloo said police know areas where violence is likely to erupt, warning troublemakers of stern action.
"Starting Monday next week, you will see our officers at their respective stations undergoing serious drills. We are for peace, but let me assure you that if you provoke us, we have enough [officers to deal with you],” he warned.

Mr Barre said some politicians “are so hungry for power that they will go to any length, including eliminating those they perceive to be standing in their way”.

He asked participants to be ambassadors of peace and be on the lookout for politicians who make inflammatory remarks and report them to the authorities.