Don’t go anywhere, Kisumu will be safe – County Security Team
Kisumu County Security team are asuring Kisumu residents of their safety ahead of the August 8th polls. In an informal meeting between the team comprising of County Commissioner Mohammed Maalim, County Police Commandant Titus Yoma, representatives from NIS, Prison Service and Administration Police, they assured the media and civil society players from the UWIANO platform that they will ensure that Kisumu becomes a model of peace during the election period.
Kisumu County has been identified as one of the potential hot-spots in the country as we head to yet another hotly contested Presidential election. Such fears have made sections of the city’s population to travel out of the city.
One of the issues that has been a concern to some of the residents was the multi-agency training being carried out by members of the prison service, administration police, regular police, GSU and Kenya Wildlife Service near Moi Stadium.
The police have however moved to calm the fears that the team was being prepared to cause havoc on city residents explaining that the training was a routine operation since changes were introduced into the police command structure.
The police service under the IG of Police has adopted a multi-agency approach in handling security challenges. The training is a normal operation that is carried out on a weekly basis and has nothing to do with the coming elections.
– Titus Yoma, County Police Commandant
The joint training is happening in all the 47 counties across the country and should not alarm members of the public.
County Commissioner Mohammed Maalim said Kisumu will be safe before during or after elections. Under his Chairmanship of the County Security Intelligence Committee, they have managed to initiate community dialogue forums that improved relationships between various communities living together and their relationship with the police force.
Our initiatives were supported by funds from the Interior Ministry and Civil Society Organizations like Local Capacities for Peace International (LCPI) and Mercy Corps.
-Maalim Mohamed, County Commissioner Kisumu.
Among the plans that have been put in place to deal with eventualities is the setting up of an operational command center with an emergency number that members of the public can call to provide police with information that will help them maintain order before, during and after elections.
0740 967 358, 0775 919 454
– Operational Command Center Emergency numbers.
The team is appealing to residents to share timely information using the two numbers to enable patrol officers to respond promptly.
Journalists present at the event asked the police to exercise a lot of restraint while dealing with demonstrators if any will occur following the declaration of results in the coming elections.
As much as we are journalists, we are residents of this city too and it is in our best interest to help security agencies maintain peace during this period. We hope that you will resort to use of force only as a last resort.
– Media representative.
Mr. Maalim assured the various partners present at the meeting the security agencies are impartial and they are not interested in helping any candidate win the coming election. He insisted that the police officers are civil servants and will bear individual responsibility if they go beyond the limits allowed to them by law.
The security officers also appealed to residents of Kisumu not to leave the city unless they are doing so to vote in other parts of the country. They promised to ensure that the officers deployed in the county are properly briefed.
Unlike previous situations where the officers deployed to Kisumu took orders from different command centers, the officers deployed will this time take their orders from Kisumu County Police Commander Titus Yoma.
Any officer who will act outside our brief will be held individually responsible for his actions.
– Titus Yoma, County Police Commander, Kisumu.
Those intending to carry out peaceful demonstration will be required to notify the police three days before the demos so that they can provide security and manage the routes.
The engagement between members of the fourth estate and security agencies in Kisumu was one of it’s kind and helped improve the relationship between the media and police which had deteriorated in the recent past.
We hope that we will see more of these engagements and we appeal to the police commandant to re-institute weekly press biefings.
– Allan Obiero, Namlolwe FM.
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