No State security for public officials involved in crime

Tuesday, January 21st, 2020 00:00 | By
Inspector General of Police Hilary Mutyambai. PHOTO/COURTESY

Politicians and senior government officials suspected to be involved in crime will no longer be provided with State security, while those charged in court will have their guns withdrawn until they are cleared. 

Inspector General of Police Hilary Mutyambai yesterday said VIPs who are civilian gun holders and are implicated in crime will have their firearm certificates cancelled. 

He, however, said the National Police Service will continue to diligently provide protection and VIP security as a crucial part of its mandate. 

“This is delivered with discretion and professionalism in full compliance to the service’s obligation under the Constitution, the National Police Service Act and other relevant regulations,” he said in a statement signed by Director of Communication Charles Owino.

Bahati MP Kimani Ngunjiri was the first casualty of the directive after he was grilled by detectives in Nakuru yesterday and had his firearm withdrawn. He told journalists he was being investigated for allegedly inciting public violence.

Dark days

The outspoken legislator spent about two hours at the DCI offices, where he recorded a statement before addressing the press.

“They have now exposed me by withdrawing my gun but God is my protector,” he said, adding that he was issued with the licence in 1992. 

Embakasi East MP Babu Owino when he arrived at Milimani Law Courts to answer to charges of attempted murder, yesterday. Photo/PD/CHARLES MATHAI

“For all the years I have stayed with this gun I have never been accused of any offence because I am a law abiding citizen,” he added. “They have started harassing anyone who is not singing their tune… this country is going back to the dark days... Why use police to harass us? There is no democracy at all.” 

The IG’s directive is likely to affect more than 50 VIPs, including Embakasi East MP Babu Owino who was yesterday charged with attempted murder and remanded for seven days. 

Others are Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria, who is facing an assault charge, Migori Governor Okoth Obado who, is in court over the murder of university student Sharon Otieno and Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa, who is out on bail after being linked to the death of a man in Ganda ward, Kilifi.

 Also to be affected is Bobasi MP Innocent Obiri, who is accused of incitement and damage to property at a quarry in Kisii. His case is pending before a Kisii court. The MP also faces a corruption case in a Kisumu court. 

Other high-profile people who might be affected by the directive include governors, judges,  former Cabinet Secretaries, former MPs, former Principal Secretaries and former parastatal chiefs who have either been charged in court or are under active investigations over alleged offences.

Governors Ferdinard Waititu (Kiambu), Moses Lenolkulal (Samburu), Mike Sonko (Nairobi) and Sospeter Ojaamong (Busia)  are among high-profile individuals facing corruption related charges in various courts. 

This morning, Sonko is expected to appear in a Voi court to take a plea for allegedly assaulting a police officer during his arrest in December over corruption and abuse of office.

Former Treasury CS Henry Rotich and his former PS Kamau Thugge are also facing charges over loss of billions of shillings in the highly publicised Kimwarer and Arror dams scandal.

Last evening, police clarified that though the new guidelines will mainly affect individuals facing criminal cases, the IG has the discretion to include suspects facing civil cases when the need arises.

Police spokesman Charles Owino said individuals facing corruption and abuse of office charges may be affected because the offences are classified as criminal under the Penal Code, adding that VIPs who were accorded security privilege should reciprocate by respecting the law at all times. 

“To avoid compromising and demeaning the very essence of which police is mandated, the NPS shall not provide security detail to VIPs who are involved or suspected to be involved in crime until they are cleared by the courts,” the police said.

“Those VIPs who are civilian firearm holders shall have their certificates cancelled and weapons withdrawn.”

Yesterday, it emerged that at least 25 MPs are facing various criminal and civil charges in courts across the country, putting their character in collision with requirements of Chapter Six of the Constitution. Charges facing the lawmakers range from corruption, fraud, forgery, assault and incitement. 

Assault charges

In a list compiled from court reports published in the media, David Gikaria (Nakuru Town East) is fighting to clear his name over fraud and assault charges.

Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko. Photo/File

He was last year arrested in case of suspected land fraud near Pipeline area in Nakuru, where he has constructed a palatial home. The case is pending in court.

In July last year, Nyakach MP Aduma Owuor was charged with defrauding the Nairobi City County of Sh10 million through fraudulent payment to Stephen Mburu (deceased), trading as Wachira, Mburu, Mwangi and Company advocates. The alleged fraud is said to have happened during the tenure of former Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero. The MP is out on bond.

In February last year, Nandi Hills MP Alfred Keter was charged before chief magistrate Francis Andayi, where he denied presenting forged Treasury Bills amounting to Sh634 million to the Central Bank of Kenya seeking payment.

Also charged last year was Lugari MP Ayub Savula and his two wives, Gatwiri Ringera and Hellen Kemboi, with stealing Sh122 million from the Government Advertising Agency (GAA) in a fraud alleged to have been executed through his Sunday Publishers Limited.

Sirisia MP John Waluke is also fighting to clear his name after he was charged alongside businesswoman Grace Wakhungu for allegedly defrauding the government in a dubious maize supply tender.

On his part, Embakasi North MP James Gakuya and eight National Government Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF) officials from the constituency are facing charges of mismanagement and embezzlement of Sh39.8 million from the CDF kitty. 

Outspoken Kapseret MP Oscar Sudi is fighting charges of forging his diploma in business management certificate, purporting it to have been issued by the Kenya Institute of Management and a Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) qualification reportedly issued by Highway High School.

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