More police officers deployed to coast after alarming security reports
Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i yesterday ordered the immediate deployment of more security officers to parts of the coast after intelligence reports showed some politicians are mobilising gangs to cause chaos.
Matiang’i said two coastal counties have been mapped out, believed to be most volatile and likely to witness political conflict.
“We are about 19 days to the General Election (18 days today). I’m satisfied that appropriate plans have been made. There are parts of this region that we’ll increase surveillance on, by bringing special additional resources to back up the existing team to provide security. We have intelligence of regrouping of some gangs,” said Matiang’i.
“Our responsibility is simple, follow the enforcement laws when dealing with the public. So we’ll focus on our mission, which is maintaining law and order, and it is our responsibility to protect the people and ensure safety during and after elections,” he said.
The tough-talking CS warned politicians against making any attempt to threaten the peace of the region during the political season.
“We are not politicians, they can engage in any manner of liberalism and distortions, they are free to lie. And as you have noticed, some of them are like career liars, so we are not like them, we are security sector people and we have one focus — that is safe, peaceful and fair elections, “said Matiang’i.
His remarks come days after Nyali MP Mohamed Ali and Mombasa county governor candidate Hassan Omar decried the deteriorating security situation, accusing their opponents of plotting to disrupt the elections in areas where UDA has massive support.
The party’s officials have released a list of 36 individuals it alleges are ring leaders of a criminal gang allegedly planning to disrupt elections at various parts of Mombasa and, subsequently, scare away voters.
MP Ali asked the security apparatus to ensure all candidates, irrespective of their political affiliations, are adequately protected.
“We know what they are planning; they are planning to use youth to cause fear and intimidate our voters. Therefore, all we want is equal security provision to our aspirants and voters so that we can have an level playing ground,” said Ali.
Matiang’i spoke at the Coast Police Headquarters after officially opening the first Anti-Terror Police Unit (ATPU), accompanied by British High Commissioner Jane Mariott (pictured), Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai and Coast Regional Coordinator John Elungata, among other anti-terrorism personnel.