ODM Denounces GSU Presence at Governor Simba Arati’s Offices, Calls for Respect and Due Process

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The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) has strongly criticized the deployment of General Service Unit (GSU) personnel at the offices of Kisii County Governor Simba Arati, emphasizing that security forces shouldn’t be misused for political purposes.

ODM condemned this apparent harassment, asserting that leaders like Governor Arati should be allowed to serve their counties without fear. The party called on the government to use appropriate investigative channels, such as the DCI and EACC, if there are concerns about the governor’s activities.

In a press statement, ODM expressed its disapproval of the presence of a General Service Unit (GSU) contingent at Kisii County Governor Simba Arati’s offices. The opposition party underscored that government security forces should not be deployed to persecute perceived political opponents. ODM contended that the GSU’s presence was potentially meant to prevent Governor Arati from accessing his office and potentially provoke public outrage over the mistreatment of their leader.

The party further stated, “This kind of harassment of leaders and the habitual misuse of the police to settle political scores should be condemned in the strongest terms possible. Governor Arati, just like other Governors, should be respected and left to run the affairs of his county to prosperity.”

ODM urged the government to use the appropriate investigative channels, such as the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), if there are concerns or queries about Governor Arati that require investigation. The party emphasized that deploying GSU personnel in large numbers to create fear among the residents is not the appropriate approach.

Governor Arati voiced his concerns, seeing the GSU’s presence as an intimidation tactic and blaming the government for these actions. He asserted that he would not be intimidated by such actions, linking the harassment to the establishment of a bodaboda rider Sacco in Kisii. Arati maintained that the government perceived this Sacco as a militia group, despite its role in fulfilling a promise made by President William Ruto during his election campaign to address bodaboda riders’ concerns.

The governor also raised questions about the abrupt closure of the Kisii municipality Bodaboda offices, which he believed was unfairly portrayed as a center of criminal activities. He demanded answers regarding the deployment of GSU officers from Kisumu to this location and questioned whom they intended to apprehend.

These events unfolded following Governor Arati’s revelation of intelligence suggesting a potential nighttime raid on his residence. He, however, urged security forces to conduct any such raid during daylight hours.

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