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Mandera police seek court permission to 'expel' crime suspects

Friday November 1 2019

Some of the 35 suspects being led by police officers from Mandera Law Courts

Police escort some of the 35 suspects from the Mandera Law Courts to a local police station on November 1, 2019. PHOTO | MANASE OTSIALO | NATION MEDIA 

MANASE OTSIALO
By MANASE OTSIALO
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Police in Mandera want court to allow them to send back crime suspects to their counties of origin.

In a sworn affidavit, Mandera East Sub-County Police Commander Eric Ngetich said the listed 35 male adults were a risk to the community.

“The respondents are so desperate and dangerous as to render their being at large without security hazardous to the community,” said Mr Ngetich.

He said the Mandera East Sub-County security committee chaired by Soloman Cheboton, the area DCC is handling a case of organised crime and has in the process arrested the respondents.

All the suspects were arrested Friday morning but Mr Ngetich did not disclose the exact place of their arrest.

SECURITY THREAT

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Mr Ngetich argued that the respondents have been involved in activities likely to cause a breach of the peace in Mandera East.

“Their continued stay in Mandera would jeopardise people’s security and lives,” he told the court.

The police want the court to force the 35 to show cause why they should not be restricted to their home districts for a specific period.

Mandera Principal Magistrate Peter Areri directed that the respondent be served with the affidavit and tender the response on Monday before he makes a ruling on the same day.

QUARRY WORKERS

Mr Alio Madey, Chairman Mandera East quarry owners association termed the event as a plan by the police to continue hurting the quarrying business.

“Over 40 of our quarry workers were arrested as they headed to the quarries this morning but news that they will be kicked out of Mandera is new to me,” he said.

The group had earlier been charged with a traffic offence of failing to fasten safety belts before the Mandera East SCPC made the “deportation” application.

“The police only want to keep us out of the quarries and not about us being dangerous to society,” said Mr John Mburu Gitau.

He said they were arrested while on their way to the quarries before being charged with a traffic offence only to be surprised when the SCPC applied to have them kicked out of Mandera.

“We are here to fend for our families back at home and Mandera is part of Kenya, I have never heard that someone is prohibited from being at some part of this country,” said Paul Maina.

POLICE-MINERS FEUD

Quarry owners, miners and the security agencies in Mandera have been on loggerheads since 2014 after suspected Al-Shabaab militants killed 36 miners in a night raid at a quarry.

Police have since sought to restrict quarrying but owners and miners allegedly still sneak back to continue with their business ignoring security advisories.

In 2015, Mandera Law Court sentenced 20 miners to pay a fine of Sh60, 000 or serve five months imprisonment for disobeying a police order.

The ruling was a few days later overturned by Garissa High Court that termed it excessive and unwarranted.

Then Mandera East OCPD Ekai Maruku (deceased) had ordered the miners out of the quarries for security reasons.