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Nairobi MCAs could have misused licensed arms

By Zadock Angira
Monday, August 10th, 2020
Patricia Mutheu
Police officers clobber Mlango Kubwa MCA Patricia Mutheu at City Hall, Nairobi on July 29, 2020. PHOTO | DAVID NDOLO
In summary

Several firearms could have ended up in the arms of undeserving cases at the Nairobi County Assembly, People Daily can reveal. 

Investigations have established that even after the re-vetting of civilian firearm holders, some holders who did not meet the qualifications or of questionable past still managed to acquire them.

Following increased cases of misuse of firearms and chaos witnessed at the County Assembly of Nairobi, Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i directed that a probe be conducted with a view to revoking the licences of the Members of the County Assembly.

“I have directed the Inspector General of Police and the Regional security team in Nairobi to disarm everyone around that County Assembly.

We have already collected 14 guns. The level of criminality that has gone on there shows there could be more firearms,” the CS said.

A total of 14 licences including those of the Nairobi South MCA Waithera Chege and Makongeni MCA Peter Imwatok.

Imwatok, according to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) had another case where he was found illegally in possession of a firearm.

He had left the firearm at DT Dobie and police officers were alerted. They collected the firearm and it was later established that he had illegally acquired it.

Not disarmed 

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has however maintained that no MCA has been disarmed, saying it was purely meant to ensure that Mlango Kubwa ward MCA Patricia Mutheu, who was assaulted by police officers, did not get justice.

“Believe you me, there is no MCA who goes to the Assembly while armed and to date no MCA has been disarmed,” Sonko said and further challenged the CS to share the names of the MCAs he said had been disarmed.

“There are clear guidelines on how firearms are handled within the Assembly precincts,” Sonko added.

Other officials whose licences are currently under investigation are Hasan Guyo (Matopeni), Wilson Ochola (Utalii), Mark Ndung’u (Maringo Hamza), Wilfred Odalo (Mabatini), and Paul Kados (Mihango).

A firearm in the wrong hands is the biggest threat to security and as a result, all applicants must pass background checks which consider criminal, mental, and domestic violence.

Owing to the increase of illegal firearms, the Interior Ministry constituted the Firearms Licensing Board and a former National Intelligence Service (NIS) officer Charles Mwongera Mukindia appointed the chair.

New procedures were instituted to ensure that only those properly vetted and found to be in need of these firearms acquire them in the right calibre, form and quantity.

“We have illegal firearms in the hands of criminals that we have continued and shall continue to mop up.

Further, we have un-procedurally acquired firearms in the hands of civilians that are an equal threat to criminally owned firearms,” Matiangi said earlier in Mombasa.

According to the Firearms Act, applicants can only be issued with firearms if it is established that he is suitable to possess .

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