Kenya: We Stopped Dishing Out Sympathy Votes – Kibicho

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Nairobi — The police service may have seized dramatic arrests in the in the run-up to the August 9 General Election upon realizing such arrests were winning certain candidates “sympathy votes” making them even more popular.

Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho on Monday said the police will not effect arrests on hate speech and other related offences saying such arrests only served to make offences even more popular.

“We will not arrest you to give you sympathy votes. Keep breaking the law, we will catch up with you in September. The government never forgets,” Kibicho said during a media interview at Citizen Radio.

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“There are some politicians who are daring, so much that they would actually try to poke the government in the eye so that they are arrested to boost their popularity,” he added.

The decision marks a departure from publicized arrests which were at some point condemned by former Chief Justice David Maraga who faulted the police for conducting shoddy investigations.

Speaking while launching Anti Corruption and Economic Crimes Division at Milimani Law Courts in December 2016, the CJ urged investigative agencies to do a thorough job to effectively tame rampant graft.

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“I want DPP, EACC and police to bring rigour into their work if they expect the Judges and Magistrates to find in their favour. Trafficking accused persons to court to manage political pressure when investigations are not concluded or when those investigations are sloppily or casually done or accusing the wrong officers or drawing faulty charge sheets – all which are intended or devised to fail the case and blame the courts should come to an end,” said Maraga.

Investigative agencies, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations in particular, have been on the spotlight with a section of politicians accusing those who run them of enforcing the law selectively to manage political equations.

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The police came under fierce criticism at the height of COVID-19 restrictions after allowing political meetings of those in favor with government to continue undisrupted while disrupting those convened by rival camps.

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