alexa Coast security bosses moved as war on drugs intensifies - Daily Nation

Coast security bosses moved as war on drugs intensifies

Tuesday August 20 2019

Coast security bosses

From left: Mombasa Police Boss Johnstone Ipara, County Commissioner Evans Achoki and Coast Police Commander Marcus Ocholla. The three have been moved as the government intensifies the war against drug trafficking in the Coast. PHOTOS | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

MOHAMED AHMED
By MOHAMED AHMED
More by this Author

The renewed war on drugs in the Coast by Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i has led to the reshuffle of top security bosses in the region.

The three affected officers are Coast Regional Police Commander Marcus Ocholla, County Police Commander Johnston Ipara and County Commissioner Evans Achoki.

Mr Ocholla will be replaced by Western Region Police Boss Rashid Yakub.

Mr Yakub is from the Administration Police (AP) unit which has since been merged with the Kenya Police.

Mr Ocholla has spent barely a year at the Coast since his appointment in January this year. He was serving in Eastern region before being posted to the Coast.

PUNJANI

Advertisement

Mr Ipara, who last week was leading a search at wanted drug trafficking suspect Ali Punjani's posh residence, has been moved to Uasin Gishu where he will swap positions with Mr Augustine Nthumbi.

Mr Ipara has served for three years as the Mombasa county police commander. He is the only police boos boss at the Coast who was not moved during a major reshuffle in January.

Meanwhile, Mr Achoki who has also served as the Mombasa county security committee chairman for close to four years has also been moved. He will now be in Marsabit County.

DRUG WAR

Reliable police sources revealed to the Nation that the reshuffle comes amid failure by the senior security officials to deal with the drug menace.

"Last week's raids have been seen as some hullabaloo because not a single big person was taken to court and charged over the drugs-related case," said the source.

During last week's crackdown, police ransacked Mr Punjani’s house and also that of Bofu Ward MCA Ahmed Salama.

Nothing concrete was found and this led to the unconditional release of Mr Salama.

Three people, including Mr Punjani's wife Karka Sushmija, who were arrested at the tycoon's house, were also released after police failed to put up a case against them.

'SHODDY' OPERATION

Another source confided that Mr Ipara was moved due to the "shoddy" operation he led at Mr Punjani's house.

It is believed that Mr Ipara was also on the spot for taking a battery of journalists into Mr Punjani's palatial home during the operation.

"He was really attacked over that move since it was only seen as a public relations exercise meant to put across Punjani as a good man," said the source.

During his tour in the Coast region when he announced the war on drugs, Dr Matiang'i said the drug trade has been a thorny issue in the region for a long time, adding that the government would move a step further, “even if it is looking among ourselves”.

Dr Matiang'i visited the coast five days after a terror gang attack in Bamburi which he said was influenced by drugs trafficking.

The CS said drugs were responsible for the increase of killer gangs terrorising the residents.

At least 13 people were injured during the Bamburi attack.