Kindiki cagey on restoration of Azimio leader security
Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki is non-committal on when the security detail of Azimio leaders will be reinstated.
This even as the CS claimed Azimio leaders organised and engaged in illegal demonstrations which put their security details in direct conflict with the other law enforcement officers.
“As a result, their security details were withdrawn since they were escorting these leaders in violation of the law and in the unlawful demonstrations,” said Prof Kindiki.
In a statement tabled on the floor of the House, Senate Minority Leader Stewart Madzayo (Kilifi) sought the intervention of the Senate’s National Security and Defence committee to investigate the circumstances that led to the withdrawal of the personnel.
Madzayo wanted the committee to come up with proper measures to bar the ministry from taking such actions in future.
“The committee should recommend immediate measures to further prevent security detail attached to leaders and MPs from being withdrawn,” the Kilifi senator said.
The Interior ministry and the National Police Service recalled officers attached to the opposition chiefs and MPs over their street protests against the government.
Azimio leaders Raila Odinga, Martha Karua, Eugene Wamalwa, governors, senators and MPs are among opposition politicians whose bodyguards were withdrawn.
Kindiki in his response charged that the principal national security is the protection against internal and external threat to Kenya’s territorial integrity, sovereignty, its people, their rights, freedom, property, peace, stability, prosperity and other national interests.
“The Government respects and upholds the constitutional provisions including the freedom of association and assembly, the right to demonstrate, picket and petition. While the Government respects the constitutional right to demonstrate, the organizers must stick to the confines of the Constitution, including and not limited to the stipulated time devoid of violence as stipulated in the Public Order Act,” said Kindiki.
He said that anyone planning to cause chaos, sabotage the economy and engage in lawlessness will be dealt with in accordance with the law, adding that Azimio leaders engaged in an illegal demonstration across the country.
“More often than not, some protestors turned rioters and, in some instances, goons took advantage of the demonstrations to loot businesses and destroy both public and private business across the country,” he stated.
He went on: “The demonstrations led to disruption of the economy, injured and killed innocent citizens, looted private property and vandalized public property which led to massive loss in all the sectors of the economy including hotels, bars, markets, supermarkets, shops, financial institutions, schools, petrol stations. This is contrary to the Public Order Act.”
The Interior CS in his response further stated that all persons including current and former political leaders and public office holders have an obligation to follow the law, adding that the mandate of the National Police Service is to ensure protection of the lives and properties of Kenyans.
Madzayo had also wanted the Kindiki to explain the motive behind the withdrawal of the security detail attached to all the Azimio leaders after their countrywide demonstrations.
“The leaders were exercising their constitutional right to demonstrate as captured in Article 37 of the constitution. The committee should explain why the security officers attached to the leaders and MPs are being recalled without official communication or appropriate signals to Parliament and or the Clerk or Speaker of Senate,” charged Madzayo.
The Kilifi lawmakers also wanted the ministry to spell out measures it has put in place to ensure the Azimio leaders and MPs whose security detail have been withdrawn are accorded adequate security.
“State whether this discriminatory practice of withdrawing security detail against some senators will be continuous. In which case, these signals are a worrying trend,” he added.
While supporting the statement, Senator Okongó Omogeni (Nyamira) said the trend of arbitrary withdrawals of security attached to MPs is a dangerous move that should be stopped.
“There are issues that touch on the welfare of members that should be separated from the politics of the day. As you sit there, I remind you that your predecessor, Speaker Marende, had his security withdrawn. He used to sit as a Speaker of this House,” Omogeni said.
Homa Bay Senator Moses Kajwang said members’ security is a right and not privilege as portrayed by the state.
“Let us draw the line between the rights and privileges that are extended to members of this House by the constitution and the Parliamentary Powers and Privileges Act, and separate them from the political shenanigans,” he said.
However, Kenya Kwanza lawmakers accused their counterparts of engaging in violet and destructive demonstrations, a situation that overstretched the state security thus withdrawal of their security.