Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho on Friday surrendered one firearm as per a government directive..
Mr Joho has earlier announced at a mini-rally outside his offices in Kizingo that he would not return the gun as he had not misused it. He dared the authorities to arrest him if they think he had committed a crime.
“I have had the firearm for about 20 years now, and I have never misused it,’’ he told the rally that was closely monitored by police officers.
The order by Chief Licensing Officer Samuel Kimaru came on the day seven police officers attached to the governor were withdrawn. The two Administration Police officers who guard his house and five bodyguards were recalled on Thursday.
The government said this was part of a move to reduce the number of police officers attached to the 47 county bosses.
Eight officers attached to Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi were also withdrawn, according to the county’s director of communications, Ms Margaret Chivila.
Mvita MP Abdulswamad Nassir said his bodyguard was also withdrawn Friday.
Council of Governors (CoG) chairman Peter Munya on Friday condemned the withdrawal of bodyguards attached to Mr Joho and Mr Kingi, describing it as unconstitutional.
“The callous manner in which the withdrawal of the officers has been done reveals elements of bad faith and abuse of power. State power must not be exercised to serve the interests of particular individuals or for the preservation of political patronage. If we take this route as a country, we must be ready to be labelled a country quickly slipping into anarchy and a banana republic,” he said.
ABUSE OF POWER
Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya also condemned the pulling of his counterparts’ security detail and asked Inspector-General of Police Joseph Boinnet to unconditionally rescind the decision, which he described as “a barbaric act of intimidation that is against the spirit of devolution”.
“The withdrawal of the officers without prior communication with the governors shows lack of seriousness in the protection of the county bosses, who are entitled to enhanced security,’’ said Mr Mvurya, who is also the deputy chairman of the CoG.
Mr Joho, who is also the ODM deputy party leader, and Mr Kingi claimed that the action was a form of harassment by the government after their political outfit won the hotly contested Malindi constituency seat on Monday.
Coast Regional Coordinator Nelson Marwa said on Wednesday police officers attached to the two governors and Kilifi Woman Representative Aisha Jumwa were behind the violence witnessed during the by-election won by ODM’s William Mtengo.
Mr Marwa said the three leaders must be held accountable for the violence their security officers reportedly perpetrated. He spoke in Lunga Lunga.
In a letter to Mr Joho dated March 10, 2017, the Kenya Police Central firearms bureau asked him to submit the firearm to the Mombasa Central Police station OCS.
The letter signed by Mr Kimaru says that the governor is unfit to be entrusted with a firearm.
The letter, which was on Thursday evening posted on the governor’s official Facebook page, requires Mr Joho to also surrender the firearm certificate stating: “You are now illegally in possession of the following firearms, Rifle .375 S/No. G1015273, Pistols S/No. CHH 692 and 841 and all ammunition thereof."
“I wish to notify you in accordance with the provisions of the firearms Act.Cap114 laws of Kenya that your firearms certificate number 4773 issued to you on June 18, 2008 is with effect from the date of this notice, revoked as I am satisfied that the revocation is warranted under section 5(7) of the above mentioned act,” the letter said.
In the letter Mr Kimaru further states that the firearm’s certificate should be surrendered immediately to him or to the county’s police commander.