Police Raid Edwin Sifuna's Hotel

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    Police officers at Ufanisi Resort in Kisii on Tuesday, May 18, 2021
  • Police officers have raided ODM Secretary-General, Edwin Sifuna's hotel, in Kisii County a few minutes before the voting process at the Bonchari by-elections commence. 

    Speaking to Kenyans.co.ke on Tuesday, May 18, Sifuna alleged that he escaped through a different exit after the law enforcers forced their way into Ufanisi Resort. 

    "I sneaked through the back door before they trapped us inside the hotel. Bosire (ODM's National Treasure Timothy Bosire) is still stranded inside," Sifuna lamented.  

    ODM through its social media pages stated that the lawyer and Bosire spent their night in the executive wing of the hotel while preparing to monitor the by-election. The party's candidate, Pavel Oimoke, faces competition from Jubilee's Zebedeo Opore and UDA's Teresa Bitutu.

    Kisii Governor James Ongwae (left) and ODM Secretary General Edwin Sifuna (centre) at a press conference on May 14, 2021, after police raided Ongwae's home

    Bititu is the widow of the late area MP Oroo Oyioka who passed away on February 15 after battling an undisclosed illness. 

    Sifuna reprimanded the government for allegedly using the police to turn the election in favour of Jubilee's Opore, an ally of Interior CS Fred Matiang'i. 

    "The government is attempting to intimidate us but we ask our voters to turn up and vote for our candidate. They (voters) are our voices and representatives," Sifuna rallied ODM's followers. 

    This is the first time ODM and Jubilee are facing off in an election since the March 2018 handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga. The two parties, in the past, have always desisted from fielding candidates in areas considered territories of the handshake partners. 

    Political analysts argued that the election will test the handshake resolve and its outcome may have ramifications on the union. On Friday, May 14, ODM alleged that Jubilee had hatched a plot to manipulate voter turnout and results after police raided the home of Kisii Governor James Ongwae. 

    The governor was accused of holding an illegal meeting after he met local politicians Sam Ongeri, Janet Ong’era, and Pamella Odhiambo. 

    “I am calling on President Uhuru Kenyatta to put a stop to this, elections come and go. Leaders are all transitory. Democratic institutions must be respected. 50 officers can’t storm my house as if I am a wanted criminal,” Ongwae complained. 

    Juja by-elections are also underway with Jubilee's Susan Njeri Waititu facing off against the People's Empowerment Party's (PEP) George Koimburi. Njeri is the widow of the late area MP Francis 'Wakapee' Waititu who succumbed to cancer on Monday, February 22. 

    Police conduct operations at Ufanisi Resort, Kisii County on Tuesday, May 18, 2021