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ODM officially writes to IEBC complaining about Bonchari by-election

By Collins Osanya
Tuesday, May 18th, 2021 16:05 | 2 mins read
Bonchari
ODM Secretary General Edwin Sifuna addressing a press conference in Kisii. PHOTO: ODM

The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) has written to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) complaining about harassment of its members by police officers in the ongoing Bonchari by-election. 

ODM raised questions on the heavy presence of police officers in Bonchari bringing to light past instances where meetings convened by its members were dispersed by police.

“Throughout the campaign period police officers and members of the provincial administration have been involved in the campaign for the Jubilee candidate Hon Zebedo Opore. Some of these incidences were raised in my letter of May 6, 2021,” part of the statement by ODM read.

ODM also complained of an instance where Kisii County Police Commander stormed Governor James Ongwae’s private residence with the intention of dispersing an alleged public meeting that was ongoing. 

According to ODM, Governor Ongwae did violate any of the set Covid-19 regulations since only four legislators were having dinner at the governor's residence.

“A lorry-load of police officers broke his gate and violated a private dinner the governor was quietly having with his Senator, Kisii Women Rep her Migori Women counterpart. The Police claimed that they were tipped that there was a meeting at the Governor's residence. Finding only a dinner of four in progress, the police refused to leave the Governor's residence unless the four legislators left the home,” ODM said. 

The party also raised critical questions on the May 17 raid at UFANISI resort in Kisii by police where ODM Secretary General Edwin Sifuna and Treasurer Timothy Bosire were residing. 

In a rejoinder, Sifuna revealed that he has been unable to have a sit down with Kisii Woman Rep Janet Ong’era without attracting the attention of police officers. 

Sifuna complained that he and Ong’era cannot oversee the by-election freely adding that officers have surrounded a Kisii hotel where the party treasurer Timothy Bosire spent his night.

The ODM Sec Gen maintains that police officers want to arrest Bosire without probable reason.

Earlier today, ODM candidate Pavel Ondieki told members of the press that police officers were harassing and intimidating his agents and voters. 

“My agent in Nyamare Primary School has this morning been arrested and this is unacceptable. The police are intimidating the voters so that they cannot come out and vote,” Ondieki said.

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