Obura flees Kondele after crowd throws stones at his car over Jubilee links
Kisumu Central MP Ken Obura was forced to flee Kondele on Wednesday after youths pelted his car with stones during campaigns for mass voter registration.
The MP, who was leading the mobilisation, met resistance following perceptions that he supports President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Jubilee Party.
The crowd shouted at him as he made his way through Kondele from Obunga slums where he also supervised the progress of the mass listing.
“He ignored the jeers and proceeded to Kondele where he was pelted with stones that broke his rear window,” a witness said.
Things were not different at Kibuye market where Obura had gone to mobilise traders to register ahead of the February 14 deadline.
“He had to change routes several times. He was also forced to cancel some of the planned stopovers,” a resident said.
In November 2014, Obura declared at a public meeting in Kisumu that he was ready to work with Jubilee to spearhead development in Nyanza.
He said the region must agree to work with the government of the day and even pledged to rally local politicians “to join parties that will win the August poll”.
“We must find a way to be part of government, either as number two or any other number, from now and beyond 2017,” the MP said at that time.
Obura was also one of the people behind the more than five visits that Uhuru made to Kisumu for the better part of 2015 and last year.
Political observers say he is among leaders from the area facing an uphill task in getting re-elected.
Three journalists injured after goons hurl stones at Kidero convoy
Three journalists were injured on Wednesday after goons hurled stones at Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero’s convoy in Dandora.
Kidero was visiting Friends Secondary School to make a contribution for infrastructure development and intervene in a land dispute.
The Mediamax journalists were identified as Sarah Ndungu (People Daily reporter), Patrick Kimanthi (K24 cameraman) and Charles Mathai (People Daily).
A witness said only the vehicle transporting them was affected.
“This forced officers to shoot in the air to disperse the attackers,” said the witness.
Ndung’u, suffered a deep cut to the head, was taken to Nairobi hospital and the others to the Mater facility.
“The group threw stones that smashed our car’s windscreen and injured. They thought we were part of the Governors entourage,” she said.
Mathai said they believed the youths had asked Kidero for money but that he refused to give it to them, causing them to turn violent.
“They got angry when he sped off without greasing their palms. They resorted to stoning the car that was following his convoy,” he said.
He urged police and the county to find and punish the attackers.
Kidero said in a statement that journalists should be protected from hooliganism.
“They were stoned because i did not give money. Let it be known that I will never give handouts,” he said.
The Kenya Union of Journalists (KUJ) condemned the attack and told politicians that any form of violence against members will not be tolerated.
“KUJ will seek legal redress against such primitive acts and will launch campaigns for media blackouts against politicians using violence on the messengers as their campaign tools,” said the union.
Secretary general Erick Oduor further noted that journalists have nothing to do with affairs between Kideroa nd his rivals.
“Their safety must be guaranteed by the organisers of the political rallies,” he said.
The Political Journalists Association of Kenya (PJAK) condemned violence amid campaigns for the August 8 general election
Chairman Isaac Ongiri , secretary Jerry Rawlings and treaurer Francis Gachuri said authorities including the IEBC must punish all politicians who engage in the vice.
“We are concerned that there is a new affront on political journalists and that their lives are more at risk as we head to the election,” read the statement.
They said investigations should be carried out speedily and those guilty punished, and that politicians should seek peaceful solutions to their disputes.
“Our clarion call is for the government, through the Media Council of Kenya, to come up with guidelines on how to protect journalists especially during political functions,” they said.