High Risk Counties With Potential For Electoral Violence

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Six counties in Kenya are likely to experience some degree of poll-related violence, a report released by the National Cohesion and Intergration Commision (NCIC) on Tuesday says. 

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During a press conference on Tuesday, the NCIC stated that Kenya’s national electoral violence index for 2022 is 53.43 percent, with 31 counties likely to have peaceful elections.

The briefing was based on a study conducted by the commission, which sought real-time status reports, conflict context, and environmental scans across Kenya’s 47 counties.

The commission mapped six counties where poll violence is likely to erupt, based on a variety of factors such as ethnic inequality, competition over scarce resources, and the presence of organized criminal gangs, among others.

The six counties, most of which are in the Rift Valley and Nyanza include:  Nakuru, Nairobi, Uasin Gishu, Mombasa and Kericho. 

The following counties are classified as medium high risk in the same report: Narok Marsabit, Laikipia, Lamu, Baring, Isiolo, Meru, Nandi, Samburu, and Bomet.

The county with the lowest risk of poll-related violence is Embu.

According to the commission’s study, which was conducted between January and April, the biggest cause of electoral violence is a lack of trust in the agencies tasked with delivering credible polls.

To prevent violence, the NCIC recommends multi-sectoral collaboration among agencies, democracy protection, inclusion and transparency, and sensitive reporting.

Hate speech, party primaries, refusal to accept poll results that contradict opinion polls, and harrassment of poll officials were identified as potential triggers of electoral violence.

Other agencies present at the briefing pledged to ensure credible and peaceful elections in August.

According to John Gachomo, the DCI’s head of Investigations, the DCI collaborates with the NCIC and has a team in place to supplement the commission.

Meanwhile, the Registrar of Political Parties, Anne Nderitu, emphasized the importance of peaceful elections, stating that the ORPP is very strict about the implementation of the political parties code of conduct.

“Political parties leaders must take charge of their supporters,” Ms Nderitu said, adding that the office currenty has 350 monitors across the country. 

The EACC also stated that it will ensure that public resources are used for their intended purposes and will provide the electorate with information on the integrity of leaders.

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