Police swoop nets 62 in Nakuru

Saturday April 12 2014

Mombasa Police heads meeting with CID Director Ndegwa Muhoro at the Police Head quarters in Mombasa on this photo taken on 11th April 2014. Photo/Kevin Odit.

Mombasa Police heads meeting with CID Director Ndegwa Muhoro at the Police Head quarters in Mombasa on this photo taken on 11th April 2014. Photo/Kevin Odit. 

By FRED MUKINDA
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More than 60 people were arrested in Nakuru on Friday night as the anti-terrorism operation was extended beyond Nairobi’s Eastleigh district.

The operation largely targets foreigners living in Kenya illegally and others suspected of committing serious crimes like robbery, carjacking and murder.

Since the operation began two weeks ago, nearly 4,000 people have been arrested and 82 of them, from Somalia, deported.

“About 189 people were processed on Friday. Some will be charged with being in the country illegally, others are awaiting repatriation to their countries and refugee camps. Sixty- two were arrested in Nakuru last night,” said a communication from the Interior ministry on Saturday.

Interior Principal Secretary Mutea Iringo said the operation would be carried out countrywide to rid the country of suspected terrorists and other criminals.

“I told them that we shall not relent and we are not targeting any particular religion. Whether you are a Christian, Muslim or Hindu, that is not our business. Police are conducting the operation professionally and effectively and arresting those without documents to sanction their stay in Kenya,” the PS told the Sunday Nation.

Mr Iringo described the operation as “successful.”

A group of Muslim leaders have expressed discomfort over the manner in which the operation is being carried out and accused police of harassment.

The leaders also opposed the establishment of a detention centre at Kasarani stadium.

Last week, the government gazetted the sports complex as a police station because the high number of suspects could not be accommodated in police stations around Nairobi.

Inspector-General of Police David Kimaiyo said the security screening involved the National Registration Bureau, the Immigration and Department of Refugee Affairs, whose officials are also temporarily based at the stadium.

“Those with legal documents and are legally in Kenya are free to go about their business. No one has been ordered to close down his or her business. It’s a countrywide operation. We’re targeting all areas. Officers are carrying out the operation professionally,” Mr Kimaiyo said.

He visited the stadium on Saturday in the company of Western diplomats. Human Rights Watch on Friday accused Kenya of treating Somalis like scapegoats amid swoops by security forces that have seen thousands arrested and scores taken back to their war-torn country.