POLICE in Eastern Province are more than ready to ensure there is peace and order during the period of campaigns and after the August 11 general elections, says Police Commissioner Alex Chilufya.
Mr. Chilufya said police would firmly deal with individuals or political parties that would engage in violence.
He told the Daily Nation in an interview that police officers in the province were drilled and trained on how they were supposed to carry out their duties during the election period.
“We are very ready to police this election to ensure everybody conducts themselves in a peaceful manner during the election period.
All stakeholders should understand their obligations and responsibilities during this period. There is need to respect and abide by the provisions of the law.
“We have trained our officers regarding what they need to know in terms of the Public Order Act, crowd management and human rights issues, among others. We will ensure all political stakeholders undertake their gatherings freely,” Mr. Chilufya said.
He implored political parties participating in the elections to cooperate with police as they conduct their campaigns.
Mr. Chilufya said political parties should conduct peaceful campaigns in the run-up to the election.
He noted that there was need for all political parties to observe the provisions of the Public Order Act as they conduct political activities.
He appealed to political parties to notify the police in ‘‘good time’’ before holding public meetings to ensure enough security was provided.
Mr. Chilufya said police would ensure law and order prevailed across the province during and after the election.
“Political parties should always make peace a priority. We are urging all those that want to undertake any kind of political activity to notify us and provide a layout of their activities so that we can strategise and prepare how we can effectively provide security at such meetings,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr. Chilufya said he was happy with the prevailing political situation in the province, saying so far, no incidences of violence had been recorded.
He warned that any person found engaging in acts of violence during the election period would be prosecuted.
“For now levels of political crime are low. We have not yet registered any incident of political violence since the campaigns began,” Mr. Chilufya said