The Orange Democratic Movement on Monday claimed that the police are planning to raid Kisii Governor Simba Arati’s residence just hours after General Service Unit (GSU) officers raided his office.
In a statement signed by Secretary General Edwin Sifuna, the party stated that it had received credible information that police were planning a raid on the Governor’s residence located on the outskirts of Kisii town despite not having a warrant.
“There is no search warrant that has been issued by the courts and we find this to be the highest level of intimidation and coercion. Such raids should be carried out during the daytime. The Governor is available to provide any information they may be looking for,” Sifuna stated in a dispatch.
The party further stated that for the last week, Governor Arati has not been able to discharge his duties because of the heavy presence of police officers drawn from the General Service Unit in Kisii town.
GSU officers blocking Kisii Governor Simba Arati from accessing his office on Monday, October 30, 2023
“It is worth noting that there have not been any reported cases of insecurity in Kisii town and its surroundings to call for the deployment of GSU personnel,” Sifuna further remarked.
As such, the party called on the government to respect elected leaders regardless of their political affiliation.
“Harassment and trying to force Governors into submission is one way of killing the hard-fought democratic space that we all enjoy,” stated Sifuna.
In a separate statement, Azimio Coalition led by Raila Odinga condemned the raid on Arati’s secondary office at Gusii Stadium earlier in the day.
In the statement, Executive Council Wycliffe Oparanya rubbished the explanation given by police officers claiming that they were conducting a regular patrol and were unaware that Arati had an office at the Stadium.
”Azimio la Umoja – One Kenya Coalition Party takes a very dim view of the incident in which a large number of General Service Unit officers laid siege to the offices of H.E. Simba Arati, the Governor of the county of Kisii earlier today,” the statement read.
The coalition smelled foul play, claiming that the government is using security agencies to blackmail governors with divergent views from the government.
”The Kisii incident is a continuation of a growing pattern of the Kenya Kwanza administration misusing national government institutions like investigative agencies and security apparatus to intimidate and blackmail governors.”
The Coalition expressed concern over the trend claiming it jeopardizes Governors’ performance and is an overall threat to devolution.
”Azimio strongly condemns this act of abuse of power and office by national government officers and warns them to cease and desist,” the statement read.
Raila Odinga speaking while accompanied by Kalonzo Musyoka and Martha Karua and other Azimio leaders on Wednesday, May 24, 2023.