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IEBC: Follow election rules, or face the music

04 December 2013, 11:18 Arap Yego

Bungoma - The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has given a stern warning to politicians participating in the Bungoma County senatorial by-elections slated for December 19 to carry out their campaigns in conformity with the elections act, failure to which they will bear the responsibility for any unlawful acts committed by themselves or their supporters individually.

Speaking on Monday afternoon after a briefing session that brought together all the four aspirants, Bungoma County IEBC Returning officer, Ben Misati said no politician, irrespective of their position, will be spared if they are found to have flouted the election law.

The four aspirants who attended the meeting -Moses Wetang’ula , Musikari Kombo, Bifwoli Wakoli and David Makali - had their campaign timetables and schedules harmonized to avoid clashes.

Misati commended the aspirants for carrying themselves well in the past ten days, since the official campaign dates began on November  22 noting that only a few complaints have been reported to his office.

“A red-flag has been raised on the use of hate speech and mudslinging in campaigns rallies; we have spoken with the aspirants and they have agreed to check on that, beginning from tomorrow,” said the County IEBC boss.

He observed that  it has been brought to their attention that some of the aspirants have been carrying out campaigns in churches and funerals, which contravenes the law and added that some of them have hired goons who heckle others in public gatherings.

“We have warned them to reign on their supporters, but we are also warning any member of the public who will be caught heckling a rival politician that they will be held personally responsible,” warned Misati.

He said five undercover investigation officers from the IEBC have been deployed to the County to monitor the campaigns and also cautioned those using social media to peddle propaganda and hate speech that they will be dealt with firmly.

Meanwhile, Bungoma County Commissioner, Maalim Mohamed has said security has been beefed up in the County ahead of the mini-polls and added that all the aspirants will be provided with security men to guarantee their safety.

Mohamed appealed to the aspirants to notify the police bosses of the respective campaign areas so that security can be guaranteed in the political rallies.

“We have asked  them to notify our police Officers Commanding  Stations (OCS) of the areas they intend to campaign in advance so that security arrangements are put in place; otherwise we will not be held responsible for any breach of peace,” said Mohamed.

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