Minitoring GSU deployment in Kisumu till the elections day

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.



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.

By Mzee Posted in kenya

7 comments on “Minitoring GSU deployment in Kisumu till the elections day

  1. Lets all be afraid
    Prime Minister Raila Odinga’s Cord Coalition has questioned the neutrality of top public service and security officials and claims their activities risk compromising the integrity of the March 4 General Election.

    The PM’s campaign secretariat on Saturday pointed a finger at head of Public Service Francis Kimemia, whom they accused of backing “one candidate”.

    Mr Odinga is locked in a tight race for State House with Jubilee Coalition candidate Uhuru Kenyatta.

    Mr Odinga’s campaign team alleged that Chief of Defence Forces Julius Karangi, National Intelligence Service director-general Michael Gichangi and Mr Kimemia were “actively involved” in campaigns of Mr Kenyatta’s The National Alliance.

    “They are involved in partisan activities aimed at influencing the elections in favour of one of the presidential candidates and/or against one candidate,” read a statement signed by Mr Eliud Owalo, the head of Mr Odinga’s campaign secretariat.

    Cord claimed to have “irrefutable evidence” of Mr Kimemia’s alleged involvement in the campaigns claiming he was giving instructions to district, provincial and county commissioners to seek votes for a presidential candidate.

    Odinga’s team also claimed that some ambassadors and principal secretaries had been recruited into the campaign.

    Jubilee leader Uhuru Kenyatta dismissed the claims, saying his opponents were creating excuses because they sensed they had fallen behind in the race for State House:

    “The baseless allegations from the Cord group are characteristic of a team that has sensed defeat and is now clutching at straws,” read a statement to newsrooms sent by Mr Kenyatta’s spokesman Munyori Buku.

    “They are losing this election, and they know it for a fact. For the record, the Jubilee campaign is self-propelling and supported by millions of Kenyans.”

    Mr Odinga’s statement comes at a time when opinion polls predict a close race between the leading candidates.

    The allegations effectively turn the spotlight on the security agencies which came under scrutiny for what the Waki Commission on post-election violence considered as their partisan involvement in the controversial 2007 elections.

    Mr Odinga’s team also claimed that members of the provincial administration had been directed to draw up a strategy of suppressing voter turnout against one candidate.

    The statement comes barely two days after Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka’s Wiper Party complained to the electoral commission that Mr Kimemia had instructed the provincial administration to support Jubilee’s Charity Ngilu for the Kitui Senate seat.

    Mr David Musila, the Wiper chairman who wrote the letter, is in a tight contest with Mrs Ngilu, one of the Jubilee principals.

    Mr Musila, the Defence assistant minister, said the party feared the outcome of the elections would “certainly not be free and fair” should the electoral commission fail to intervene, and planned to raise the matter with international observers.

    “We want to take the opportunity to inform them that the Office of the President intends to use public officers to campaign for candidates of Jubilee and to rig the election in favour of this coalition.”

    However, Mr Kimemia on Saturday denied any involvement by the provincial administration in campaigns. He said that civil servants have been warned not to engage in political activities or else they would face disciplinary action.

    Mr Kimemia said he had sent a circular to that effect.

    “I wish to remind you that it is an electoral offence for any public servant to be engaged in politics. The requirement for non-participation in politics must be strictly adhered to by all public servants. The relevant arms of government are under instructions to work closely with the IEBC to ensure compliance with this requirement,” said the circular dated February 11 and copied to permanent secretaries, provincial commissioners, the electoral commission, the Inspector-General of Police and the Director of Public Prosecutions.

    On Saturday, he said that Jubilee had raised similar grievances that public servants had been instructed to campaign for their opponents.

    He said he wrote the circular following allegations and counter-accusations by political parties that some public servants may be partisan.

    In their statement, Cord claimed that Mr Kimemia recently met six permanent secretaries in Elementaita (in Nakuru County) and advised them to support Jubilee.

    “Mr Gichangi has been part of various strategy meetings held at various places including at Pizza Garden, Nairobi (on December 20, 2012) and Outspan Hotel in Nyeri on December 15, 2012 with the same aim. One of the most recent activities were meetings held on February 7, 2013 at General Karangi’s office at the Department of Defence headquarters.”

    Asked for a comment on the claims, Gen Karangi said he had none.


  2. although not entirely relevant to this thread i want to post this here as a bookmark

    there is a certain level of ujinga that simply cannot be quantified

    so now ethnicity can be termed a national disaster. am not sure whether its the mediocrity of editorial board of that media outlet, the stupidity of the journalist or the inepteness of the officer from the national disaster board or a healthy and unfortunate mix from all the three

    so next time you see a ___ (please fill with whatever tribe) person or child you are free to tell them they are potentially a national disaster adn you can report them to the nearest police station for endangering the peace ….. eeish ….

    and you can see why i posted the article here, evidently kisumu folk are a national disaster in the making

    this kind of ujinga has to stop


  3. Abdulmote,
    I agree with you about police reforms and this is what is causing fear. Sending the exact same in-disciplined forces to pacify people only means one thing. Chaos and mayhem. Its good to preempt things but I don’t think that Kisumu is where violence is most likely to erupt unless Kibaki and co are planning something sinister that we don’t know about.

    Yes, people might punch each other after the elections but does one need the GSU for this?


  4. Mzee,

    I understand your concerns and where you are coming from. However, we must also appreciate the situation on the ground and the options available in dealing with the same. With the benefit of hindsight, it is possible to acknowledge that our ‘Police Force’ and in particular the GSU has always been wanting in terms of their professional conduct.

    A lot had been said and observed but with little concrete effort in addressing such weakness, despite the pledges by the government and including Raila/ODM, that this is an issue they will address as a matter of significant importance and priority. To date I do not think much has been done in that respect that any can confidently claim to have done anything in that regard.

    Having said that, I think all we can do at this stage is to resign to the fact it is almost too late to demand for the desirable changes on our ‘Police force’ and at most dedicate a little noises if things do go wrong again – unfortunately after some innocent souls have been dispatched prematurely to their maker, that is until after the next elections.

    It is a sad truth of our affairs.


    • mzee

      the interesting thing in that report is that its still the very same two communities that have fought fiercely in the past, that are purported to be in an alliance today, that are amassing these weapons for a fight in the future.

      these two communities are going to either fight alongside each other to terrorize other less populous communities and jointly displace them, or are so mistrustful of each other despite their so called jubilee political alliance meaning that nothing on the ground has changed. in which case we be assured of a 5 year violence cycle as predictable as the 5 year drought, 4 year flash floods in parts of the country, resulting in the 5 year economic crests and troughs


      • tnk,
        You are right. Nothing has changed on the ground. The suspicion still lingers because there has been no attempts to properly address animosity between the kikuyu and kalenjin.

        I don’t believe that the arms race going on is to ward off the smaller tribes but rather for the two big tribes to face off in case of a new inter-ethnic violence.
        What is happening teaches us that all is not well inspite of what The Hague suspects are saying.

        I find it scary.


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