State redeploys top officers in Nakuru amid crime surge
The government yesterday announced an immediate reorganization of security and administrative officers in Nakuru following the rise of organized crime in the county that has left a trail of deaths.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i transferred Kasarani OCPD Peter Mwanza to Nakuru as the new County Police Commander. Mwanza replaces Beatrice Kiraguri. Also to be affected are junior officers who have been mentioned as sympathizers.
Matiang’i, who spent close to four hours in a closed-door meeting with the Regional Security and Intelligence Committee members, revealed that the decision was necessary. Speaking at All Nations Church in Workers Estate yesterday, the CS regretted that the killings were unfortunate and revealed that the meeting unearthed lapses in the security command chain, which he said had now been addressed.
While declaring war on the ‘Confirm’ gang, Matiang’i said the government will deploy unprecedented fire and force through security operations, insisting that no one should lecture him about human rights issues.
“Where were they when our children were being murdered? I have sat with the victims’ families and it is painful. Killing an innocent girl at their home is unacceptable,” he said.
He added: “We will not surrender any more lives to these gangs and whoever is supporting them, including leaders who are housing and financing their operations. We will treat them as criminals.”
Matiang’i listed a raft of demands on the new county police boss, emphasising that he had no option but to perform. He also said a special unit will be deployed to aid in a 24- hour surveillance and operation, which will consist of a multi-agency team from the service.
“We have made some changes in the security sector within the county to ensure effectiveness. We want to clean up this area to ensure residents live in peace,” he added.
The minister said officers have been given adequate resources to protect the lives and property of Kenyans, saying he was not going to sleep until the matter was settled. “I am cautioning you against laxity. You must ensure every last root of the confirm gang is removed from this county,” he warned.
Matiang’i, who was accompanied by General Service Unit Commandant David Kanja, Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai and Directorate of Criminal Investigations boss George Kinoti, stated that the operation will continue until the area is free of criminal gangs.
“There is no way you can defeat the government and cause mayhem in the society. You have invited us for a duel and here we are. I am here to assure you of security and my accompaniment with top security chiefs is an indication of that,” Matiang’i said.
The CS said it was the duty of the government to protect the lives of Kenyans, saying they have no responsibility with criminals, and called for a fresh vetting on all chiefs to root out those working with criminals.
“We need to know who is working and who is not. This is a serious matter. Those who are sleeping on the job must leave office immediately,” he said.
Matiang’i revealed that the intelligence committee had unearthed an ongoing oathing exercise in the county in the full awareness of the chiefs, saying they must go home. “Someone is taking youths for oaths under trees to cause mayhem, why are you sleeping on your jobs? We are being paid by taxpayers money to work and that is what we should do,” he said.
“I have not lied before, once I hit the ground on something I must see it through to the end and I want to assure you, the gang will not be heard again, they have invited us and they will see how things are done,” Matiang’i noted.
He said the President was disappointed with the running of things, wondering what the police in the county had lacked to deal with the situation for good. “I am apologising on behalf of the government and as a responsible civil servant, this ought not to have happened. We have found lapses and we have rectified the same,” he said.
Governor Lee Kinyanjui said he was ready to boost the security operation by donating vehicles for the same.
“We are ready to work and put our resources to assist the security docket, we know security is not devolved but we are ready to help where we can,” he said.