Kisumu remains calm as tension rises in Migori ahead of Uhuru Kenyatta swearing-in

Tuesday November 28 2017

Kehancha Town in Migori County.

A few people on a street in Kehancha Town, Migori County. The town and Migori Town were largely deserted ahead of Uhuru Kenyatta's swearing-in on November 28, 2017, while other towns in Nyanza and Western remained calm and business went on as usual. PHOTO | VIVERE NANDIEMO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By NATION TEAM
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Most towns in?Nyanza and Western remained calm ahead of the swearing-in of President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy. William Ruto

In Kisumu, most businesses went on as usual and there was no police presence in the streets.

CALM

In Kakamega Town, residents went about their activities as usual.

Supermarkets and retails shops were open and residents gathered in hotels and other socials places to follow proceedings of the inauguration on big screens in hotels.

There was little presence of security officers on the streets. Many families opted to stay at home.

The situation was the same in Kisii Town, as businesses went on uninterrupted.

In Migori County, however, there was tension from Monday amid fears of possible chaos during Mr Kenyatta’s inauguration on Tuesday.

Several businesses closed early and many people made their way home earlier than usual.

FEAR

"I have to close my business and leave town very early because anything can happen," said Chacha Samson, a trader.

Those travelling to Isebania and Kehancha from Migori Town were stranded for the better part of the evening as taxi and boda boda operators closed early.

Scores of residents here maintain that they would not recognise President Kenyatta's presidency.

"We believe there was no election on October 26 and therefore Uhuru and Ruto were not validly elected. We shall resist for as long as it takes," said Charles Omondi, a resident of Migori Town.

SECURITY

However, security has been beefed up in the region.

On Monday evening, several trucks full of police officers were seen arriving in Migori Town ahead of the fete. They were strategically placed along the main streets.

But the heavy police presence caused panic, with some residents questioning their deployment.

“The police are provoking us...who told them we wanted to riot? We are not interested in President Uhuru’s swearing-in because we did not participate in their purported elections," said boda boda rider Sospeter Owino.

Migori County police boss Joseph Nthenge said security agents are ready for any eventuality.

"We understand emotions may run high and lead to chaos. Arrangements are in place to see that there are no acts of lawlessness. All areas are covered. Our officers are on standby," he said.

LAW AND ORDER

The police boss further said that those who will disrupt law and order will be dealt with in accordance with the law.

Migori County has in the recent past witnessed violent chaos emanating from the August 8 and October 26 polls. The chaos left some people dead and scores injured.

Report by Benson Amadala, Elisha Otieno, Rushdie Oudia, Ruth Mbula and Vivere Nandiemo.