The country’s impending general elections could be put in jeopardy if any of presidential candidates dies before August 8 polls, a senior lawyer revealed today.
Moses Omirera, a senior assistant director of the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, said the government should provide security to all the candidates and their running mates in earnest.
Omirera said failure by the state to provide the security could be disastrous to the country if anything happens to any of the candidates or their running mates because that would put to a halt the impending elections.
He was speaking at the Machakos University during a media workshop on election preparedness when he warned that if anything happens to those people already cleared to vie for the presidency the country could fall into anarchy.
More than 70 journalists drawn from Nairobi, Kajiado and the lower parts of the Eastern region in Machakos were taken through the country’s legal and institutional framework for elections and election offenses during a two-day workshop.
Omirera said the ODPP has already established an election secretariat and trained 105 prosecutors specifically to prosecute election offenses throughout the country.
There are already two senior prosecution personnel posted to all the 47 counties across the country, Omirera said.
Key players in the election secretariat, Omirera said, are drawn from stakeholders like the independent electoral and boundaries commission, National Police Service, ODPP, Directorate of Peace-building and Conflict Management.
Others are; National Cohesion and Integration Commission, the Office of the Registrar of Political Parties, the Judiciary and Political Parties Dispute Tribunal.
Under the country’s laws, the power to prosecute is vested in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution under Article 157(6) of the Constitution of Kenya 2010.
Section 21 of the Election Offences Act, 2016 provides that the Director of Public Prosecutions shall order for investigations and prosecution of election offenses.
Factors contributing to election offenses, Omirera said ethnic and clan mobilization, hate speech, cattle rustling & proliferation of small arms and light weapons among others.
During the two-day workshop, journalists were told to be non-partisan I covering the general elections because of cohesiveness in the country.
Prisoners in this year’s general election will be allowed to vote for presidential candidates.