By Samuel Ouma
HAKI Africa, a Mombasa-based rights group, has raised concerns over the increasing political violence in Mombasa and other parts of the country ahead of August 9 general elections.
The group said it has witnessed violence in political rallies and an attempted assassination of a politician. It has also seen incidences of violence in Leisure, Kisauni, and Likoni areas with people sustaining serious injuries.
“These events threaten the peace and cohesion that we enjoy as a country,” read part of the statement released by the group in Partnership with Coast Civil Society Organization Network and Pwani Social Justice Centres Working Group.
Haki has urged the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission to immediately investigate politicians whose campaigns are leading to violence and the death of Kenyans.
At the same time, they also called on the Directorate of Criminal Investigation to investigate the matter and unearth the goons perpetuating violence while disguised as general election aspirants for purposes of prosecution.
The organization has called for issue-based campaigns that are free from tribalism, intolerance, negative stereotyping, stigmatization, discrimination, incitement to violence, and violence against persons.
They further requested the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution to prosecute those found culpable of criminal activities during campaigns.
The National Cohesion and Integration Commission, on the other hand, has been implored to move with speed in the exercise of its mandate before things get out of hand.
“The National Peace Steering Committee must rump up engagements between relevant stakeholders and partners to put a stop to what appears as an agenda for violence and disturbing our peace,” the statement read further.
Haki cautioned told the youths to be vigilance and avoid being used as a vessel of violence.
On Tuesday night of April 5, 2022, a parliamentary aspirant Ali Mwatsau escaped death after he was sprayed with 22 bullets in Mombasa.
Mr. Mwatsau was from prayers when he was approached by gunmen in two vehicles. They fired at home leaving him with sustained serious injuries on his arms and legs.
The gunmen fled the scene after the incident.