Kakamega senatorial candidate attacked in Mumias

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By SHABAN MAKOKHA

A Kakamega senatorial candidate and his campaign team was on Sunday attacked by armed youth in Matawa sub-location, Mumias West leaving one MCA aspirant with a deep cut on the head.

Mr Cleophas Malala, the Amani National Congress (ANC) senatorial candidate, Mumias Central MCA Suleiman Odanga (Independent) and his rival Charles Odanga (ANC) were forced to flee after an angry crowd attacked them.

The three had attended a church function at St Romano’s Catholic Church, Matawa, before the incident happened.

Mr Malala said a group of about 10 youth armed with pangas, rungus and stones attacked them and destroyed their vehicles.

Mr Charles Odanga was badly injured with a deep cut on his head during the 10.00am attack.

The rear and front windscreens of his vehicle were also smashed with stones. He was rushed to St Mary’s hospital for treatment.

Mr Malala who is the current MCA for Mahiakalo Ward and Charles Odanga are both seeking to be elected on ANC ticket while Suleiman is contesting as an independent candidate after he lost during the ODM nominations in April.

While Mr Malala blamed the Jubilee parliamentary candidate for Mumias West Rashid Mohammed for the incident, Mr Odanga’s supporters accused Mr Suleiman of being behind the attack.

“One of the youth approached me and cautioned me against talking ill of Rashid. But I want to appeal to my brother Rashid to understand that those who live by the sword will die by the sword,” said Mr Malala.

“How comes it is only Odanga who was attacked and seriously injured and his vehicle badly destroyed in the attack? he posed.

“This must be a plot by Suleiman because he kept moving out of the church to communicate on phone,” claimed Juma Okumu.

Mr Okumu said the rowdy youth had earlier blocked Mr Odanga from addressing them and demanded that only Mr Suleiman be allowed to address them on Matawa-Mumias road.

“Most of those youth are staunch supporters of Mr Suleiman and there is no way he can escape blame,” said Mr Okumu.

Mr Odanga also insinuated that it was a ploy by his opponent to have him attacked but called on his supporters to remain calm as police carry out investigations.

“Let us engage in peaceful campaigns because each of the politicians has capacity to do anything. But this should not be the way because it is our people who will suffer in the end,” he said.

But Mr Suleiman said he was equally attacked but escaped on a motorcycle from the wrath of the irate youth.

“I want to appeal to my supporters and those of my brother Charles Odanga to maintain peace throughout the campaign period.

“We have maintained peaceful campaigns since 2013 and let us not link this incident to Mumias Central politics. The youth were categorical of who sent them,” he said.

Mumias OCPD Peter Kattam said three vehicles were damaged.

“One of the vehicles which I was informed belong to Malala had its rear windscreen cut with a panga. Another one had both the front and rear windscreens smashed. A saloon car had its windows and rear windscreen broken,” said Mr Kattam.

He said police had launched investigations and were following crucial leads into the attack with a view of arresting the suspects.

“We are determined to ensure that no stone is left unturned. We want to send a clear message to hooligans and their sponsors to cease from disrupting rallies of their opponents. I also challenge all aspirants to notify the police of their rallies so that we can offer them security,” said Mr Kattam.

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