This thread is for monitoring GSU actions in Kisumu. We will report every move by the force here in DC from now until the elections end.
One might say whatever they want to say about the security situation in Nyanza but such deployment will only cause anxiety and unnecessary tension. Infact I do believe that residents might see it as provocation. It might be true that the intention of sending the GUS is to actually provoke people.
There is a belief in Kenya that the only way of bringing peace is using violence. The experience of the people of Kisumu with security forces has not been good since independence. The GSU has caused mayhem in Nyanza more than once. I remember my dad talking of how the force was deployed in Uyoma to beat,torture, kill, deport, starve and rape in the 70´s. Then there is a time when they were deployed after the disagreement between Jaramogi and Kenyatta at the opening of Russia hospital.On this occasion they were just shooting people at random And most recently after Kibaki stole elections in 2007. Truth be told 99.9% of the deaths in Kisumu in 07 PEV were caused by the security forces. This simply means that had they not been deployed no one would have died. inspite of the protest in Kisumu during PEV no one from another ethnic community was killed.
Now Kibaki and his goons are at it again trying to intimidate voters especially with PEV still fresh in their minds. Im shocked that no Nyanza politician has talked about it. Besides, I dont see this deployment happening elsewhere in the country.
By EVELYN KWAMBOKA and RUSHDIE OUDIA
Kisumu, Kenya: A contingent of General Service Unit officers is set to arrive in Kisumu next week as political campaigns intensify in the county ahead of the March 4 polls.
Security measures have been beefed up and peace campaigns intensified following the mapping out of Kisumu county as one of the major violence hotspots in the country. The County has 35 hotspots.
Kisumu East District Officer 1 Solomon Chanzira on Friday said residents should not be scared when they see the officers patrolling the county.
Chanzira sad that they are not going to take chances with the security of Kisumu residents and they do not want a repeat of whatever happened in 2008.
Speaking at a peace campaign dubbed ‘Sitarusha mawe tena’, the DO 1 said that there were allegations that that the business community of Indian Origin were not restocking their shops for fear of violence.
“The nomination exercise was a challenge and we overcame, so shall we overcome the general election,” said Chanzira.
In a bid to ensure there is maximum peace during campaigns, March 4 and immediately after the poll results are announced, security personnel and the international community is to monitor 35 spots in the county.
The list by Champions of Peace Movement indicates Kisumu Central constituency has the highest number of hotspots followed by Kisumu East. The areas include Kondele, Manyatta, Nyalenda, Kawater, Kachok, Bandani, Jua Kali and Buspark.
The movement’s officials Elly Opondo said they mapped 35 areas based on the 2007/2008 post election violence and riots that have been taking place in the county from time to time.
It is in Kondele where the junction connecting Kisumu-Kakamega Highway and Manyatta is located and acts as a notorious base for many idlers especially during the day.
In Kisumu East, the movement mapped out Nyamasaria, Mamboleo, Kasawili, Chigalali, Koyango market and carwash, adding that violence syndicates are based at Koptit where the road was blocked following the Orange Democratic Movement primaries.
Muhoroni constituency has Kibigori, Kopeli, Masogo, Fort Teman and Awasi that were hit in 2007 and ODM primaries.
The areas were mapped out due to susceptibility to political manipulation of cane cutters by candidates and accessibility of machetes. It is also because the constituency borders Rift Valley.
Kisumu West has Holo, Kisian, Otonglo, Daraja Mbili and Maseno. In Nyakach, inter community tensions has Katito, Pap Onditi and Sondu as the key areas. Nyando-Ahero, Rabuor, Kabongo and Nam Bay, while in the newly created Seme constituency has Kombewa and Kit Mikai.
On Friday, Opondo said the areas mapped out also act as stopovers for politicians during campaigns and bases for boda boda (motor cycle) riders.
“We are now targeting boda boda riders in peace campaigns because they are influential in all the mapped out areas. They act as pillars of peace in this place,” he said during a meeting with 230 riders in Kisumu.
The movement is targeting more than 30,000 riders to be champions of peace and has given them jackets with messaged at the back.