Nakuru County Assembly have condemned the attack on Menengai East Ward Rep Wilson Mwangi on Tuesday by a gang outside his house.
They have called for an urgent meeting with security agencies in the county to address the rising insecurity. Speaker Joel Maina Kairu on Wednesday told the House that the lives of MCAs are in danger.
“MCAs must be assured of their security following the incident involving Menengai East Ward Rep Wilson Mwangi Wajeff on Tuesday,” said Mr Kairu.
Mr Kairu said MCAs must be assured of their security given the sensitivity of their work.
“Many people who want to grab public land are not happy with MCAs. MPs are assured of security and yet the MCAs who are constantly in touch with the residents at grassroots have no security,” said Mr Kairu.
The Speaker assured the MCAs he will facilitate the security meeting. The MCAs want police to investigate the increasing attacks on MCAs by criminal gangs.
Nakuru County Police Commander Simon Matu said they are investigating the attack on Mr Mwangi.
“We don’t have any suspect so far but we are carrying out investigations,” said Mr Matu.
The matter of insecurity was raised in the assembly by Mr Philip Wanjohi (Lare) after Mr Mwangi was attacked.
He said last year some of the ward reps were threatened and MCAs from Nakuru and Kuresoi were almost stabbed by assailants.
“If one of us is threatened we are also affected,” said Mr Wanjohi.
Mr Mwangi said he was accosted by two armed gangsters on a motorbike and he had to hide in a nearby bush. The first time MCA has been fighting land grabbers and illicit brew dealers in his ward.
“My life is in danger as I received threatening message from a local politician and I feel this time MCAs need tight security,” he said.
Kabazi MCA Peter Mbae said MCAs took an oath to fight for justice and rule of law and it is sad to hear that one of the MCAs was attacked for fighting land grabbers in his ward.
“MCAs cannot sleep in peace because criminals are after their lives,” said Dr Mbae.
He said Mr Mwangi has even been arraigned for fighting cartels in his ward.
“We may soon lose our lives as we fight corruption in the wards,” said Dr Mbae.
The chairman of security and Governance, Mr Stanley Karanja condemned the attack on Mr Mwangi. He said the incident comes after Biashara Ward MCA Peter Njoroge narrowly escaped death in a market in his ward.
“We should hold an urgent meeting with the executive and security agencies,” said Mr Karanja adding that ward reps should be provided with security.
“We should also be provided with security even if it means using the county askaris,” said Mr Karanja.
Mariashoni MCA Douglas Ayabei said: “These attacks will not intimidate us to stop talking about corruption,” he said.
This latest attack on MCA Mwangi is not an isolated case as deputy Speaker Samuel Tonui was recently trailed by unknown men as he went to his house.
Mr Gathariki Kamanu (Maiella) said that the attacks on MCAs was a threat to devolution. He said attackers are out to silence ward reps who raise concerns on theft of public resources.
Majority Leader Moses Ndung’u Kamau said he has also been threatened.
“We need to amend laws to allow MCAs to hire personal body guards,” said Mr Kamau.
“The anti-graft agency should move fast and investigate the land grabbers in Nakuru County,” said Mr Kamau.
Soin MCA Irene Chebichi said the assembly should pay legal fees for MCAs attacked while on duty.