What you need to know:
- Politicians, led by Lamu West MP aspirant Maryimmaculate Nyagah, claimed their posters are either pulled down or those for their male rivals plastered on top.
- Ms Nyagah of Narc Kenya is the only female aspirant out of the over 12 aspirants lined up for the August 9 race to unseat incumbent Stanley Muthama.
A section of Lamu women aspirants have decried intimidation by their male competitors, whom they accuse of hiring goons to destroy their campaign materials.
The politicians, led by Lamu West MP aspirant Maryimmaculate Nyagah, claimed their posters are either pulled down or those for their male rivals plastered on top.
Ms Nyagah of Narc Kenya is the only female aspirant out of the more than 12 aspirants lined up for the August 9 race to unseat incumbent Stanley Muthama.
Speaking to Nation.Africa on Monday, she said she had reported the matter to the police for investigations. She said supporters of male aspirants seem to be on a hired mission to stifle the efforts of female aspirants as they keep on defacing and tearing their campaign materials.
Such cases are rampant in Witu, Mpeketoni, Hindi, the Mokowe Jetty, and Lamu Old Town.
“It’s unfortunate that women aspirants in Lamu are not fully given the space to campaign and paste their posters. Political goons have been working with their masters to ensure they bring female aspirants down using all possible means. Female candidates’ posters are pulled down shortly after we put them up,” said Ms Nyagah.
“We will not retreat despite those intimidation. We’re here to stay.”
Prosecution of culprits
Lamu Woman Representative aspirant Loyce Dama Luwali urged security agencies to be keen and ensure those behind such acts are prosecuted.
“You can imagine the economic burden we are already facing, having to print those costly posters and someone destroying them. Those involved must be arrested and prosecuted,” said Ms Luwali.
Bahari Ward MCA aspirant Jane Ndung’u asked security agencies and political parties to put in place mechanisms to help protect women in politics and disqualify and charge perpetrators of violence.
“It’s high time we were provided with special security as women candidates. It is not easy to compete against men who are always targeting and intimidating us. The government must guarantee female candidates their personal security,” said Ms Ndung’u.
She regretted that male rivals are capitalising on gender stereotypes by spreading the notion that women should not be allowed in leadership.
County Police Commander Moses Murithi urged politicians to respect one another and avoid engaging in criminal acts, including destruction of campaign posters.
He also called on the affected aspirants to immediately report such cases for investigations.
“Let those complaining about having their campaign materials destroyed report such matters to the police. We will investigate and ensure those behind such acts are brought to book. We are keen to ensure those involved in any kind of election offense are punished,” said Mr Murithi.