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Stop Provoking Chaos By Destroying Opponents’ Works, Athena Residents Warn Thika Politicians.

The new look gate of Athena Primary School after people came at night to repaint it. (INSET: The writings left behind by Jungle Foundation before they were  removed)

They say that old habits die hard. Barely three days after Thika West DCC Tom Anjere convened a peace meeting with all the aspirants to strategise on ways to guarantee incident-free electioneering period within the district, some politicians have already ‘eaten up their own words’ and are back into their old dirty self.

Residents of Athena village in Township Ward woke up to a rude shock on Wednesday when some hooligans hired by a known politician defaced literature belonging to an opponent in what seems to political rivalry. At around 4am, about ten goons went to Athena Primary School and removed all data and information that indicated that the school’s gate had some facelift from Jungle Foundation associated to Thika Town parliamentary aspirant Patrick Wainaina and repainted it with other info.

Though the new literature bore no political incantations, the residents expressed their disappointment with the architects of this heinous act saying it was a sign of cowardice and very defeatist.            

“Our leaders should set a good example to the youths who look up to them and help them understand the importance of nationhood and respect for other people’s rights. When one sends youth at night to deface campaign materials of their opponents, do they think that this will attract us to them? Do they ever imagine the kind of damage this kind of crime does to their election bid? If we are not very careful to ensure this trend is arrested, it could result in violence,” said Mary Njambi, a parent at the school.

Njambi noted that as parents of the school and as residents of the area, they welcomed all politicians to come and solicit for votes. Otherwise, she added, this did not mean discrediting their opponents or funning violence.

“The era of political hooliganism is long gone. Let everyone come and sell their agenda in peace. By the end of it all, it is the mwananchi who will decide who will lead them. Those leaders fanning flames of violence should be barred from vying. Some of these politicians are simply forcing themselves to the people and threatening our peace through their disregard for the laws that govern a civilised society. We are telling them here in broad daylight that their days are over,” she added. 

Njoroge Maina reckoned that these crop of politicians seemed so desperate to win and would do anything at their disposal to ensure that they jeopardised their competitors’ chances.

He explained how they had struggled for years to put up the structures in that school, some of whom having to opt for menial labour to raise the required fees to erect this facility.

“It hurts me to see anyone discourage others from assisting us to improve the infrastructure of this school which is still wanting. The school is in pathetic condition and considering that most of us here come from very humble backgrounds, we accept any form of assistance from all quarters,” said Maina.

Maina confirmed that there has been cases where politicians used youths to intimidate their rivals in the area, something that did not go well with the locals.

“We need to make it clear that we want politicians who respect the rights of others and who will not resort to violence in order to win. I appeal to the police to take stern action against politicians who use goons to attack their rivals or endanger the lives of our youth,” he said.

It has been the norm in every campaign season to see thousands of young people earning small handouts from politicians to sabotage their opponents through violence, insults, spreading negative propaganda, defacing and pulling down other people’s posters and material.

Hardly a week has gone before Morris Mburu’s writings on the newly erected pit latrines were removed in the same manner at night. Mburu is also aspiring to be Thika Town MP this year.

It is for this reason that the people of Athena are a worried lot. They are therefore pleading with the politicians to desist from seeking to besmirch one another in the name of wooing the electorate.

Nonetheless, the buck stops at the Thika District Security Desk to ensure law and order and the perpetrators of such crimes are brought to book. Otherwise, the security meetings convened to seek a peaceful electioneering period will be null and void.

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