State withdraws Railaa��s security

Filed under: English news,Wararka |

Wednesday September 27, 2017

A protester cries for mercy after being cornered by police during NASA demonstrations to eject IEBC CEO Ezra Chiloba at Anniversary Towers, Nairobi,yesterday. /JACK OWUOR

The government has recalled 20 security guards attached to NASA leaders Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka and Musalia Mudavadi and yesterday Raila said their lives may be in danger.

‘I have a good reason to believe they want to do harm to us. And rather than trying to do physical harm to us, they should just arrest us and take us to prison,” Raila told the Star in an exclusive interview last evening at his Karen Home.

“We want it to be known that if anything happens to us, they should know where and who was responsible,” he said.

The guards were withdrawn – the state says merely reduced – on the night before yesterday’s major demonstration to demand removal of IEBC CEO Ezra Chiloba and other staff.

Police used tear gas and batons to disperse demonstrators.

NASA says IEBC staff rigged and bungled the August 8 election and must not handle the presidential rerun on October 26.

Police spokesman Charles Owino denied security for the three opposition leaders had been withdrawn, only cut back, guards ordered back to GSU headquarters.

“We have not withdrawn. All we have done is scale down the number of security,” Owino told the Star on the telephone.

The Star visited the homes of the three yesterday and found no uniformed, armed police officers. Instead, hired private security guards were at the properties.

Raila, as a former Prime Minister, and Kalonzo, as a former Vice President, are entailed to 24-hour state security.

Radar company security guards were at Raila’s Karen home. It was not clear from which company supplied guards at Kalonzo and Mudavadi’s homes. Mudavadi was in London when his guards were scaled back.

The NASA flagbearer said he read sinister moves in withdrawal of state security.

Raila said all 12 GSU officers seconded to him, including those at his Karen and Bondo homes, were withdrawn yesterday morning without explanation.

“I was not told of any plan to withdraw my security. I was with my security until last evening and they were supposed to come in the morning but they did not report. They did call to say that they had been summoned to report to GSU headquarters,” he said.

The ODM leader said a GSU officer who guards his Bondo home was picked yesterday morning by officers from Mt Elgon GSU camp and taken to Nairobi for redeployment.

“These are unilateral decisions, which I think are made by the President because it is only the President who can order the withdrawal of a former Prime Minister’s security. But again, he cannot do that because this [security] is provided for by an Act of Parliament,” he said.

Raila said the Jubilee administration is intimidating the opposition with the sole aim of crippling its campaigns ahead of the repeat October 26 presidential election rerun.

“They want to cripple my campaigns because the President fears that if we are able to campaign properly, then he has no chance against us. This basically trying to tie our hands,” he said.

The Opposition leader said he will neither move to court nor beg the government to reinstate his security. He said it was not in his nature to plead.
“If they want to restore my security, it is up to them. I am not going to beg them. As you know, they have refused to give me my pension for the last four years and I am not going to beg. It is not in our nature to do so,” he said.

This isn’t the first time, the Jubilee administration has withdrawn or scaled back security for its rivals in the opposition.

In January, the state withdrew security from Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho and his Kilifi counterpart Amazon Kingi. That was at a time of high tension and confrontation between the state and the opposition. The state said they were scaled back in a routine rotation. Joho, the ODM deputy leader, hired his own guards and said he wouldn’t plead.

Security was eventually restored.

“They have not [scaled back],” Raila said. If they had, why haven’t they done that to resident [Uhuru Kenyatta]?” The President is just an acting President. Why haven’t they done the same thing to the Deputy President? Those are basically excuses,” he said.

Earlier at a press conference at his Capitol Hill offices, Raila said he was unshaken by the move with withdraw his security, and it was not up to the President to withdraw security.

NASA MPs led by ODM chairman John Mbadi yesterday gave the government 24 hours, by the end of the day today, to reinstate security “or face mass action right at their doorstep. This is not negotiable,.”

“We urge President Uhuru Kenyatta not to plunge this country into chaos,” he said at Orange House.

Earlier in the day, police used tear gas and batons to disperse anti-IEBC protesters. Several volleys of tear gas were fired near Anniversary Towers, the IEBC headquarters.

Protesters fled and then regrouped.More tear gas and baton charge. They fled again.

By mid-afternoon, calm had return.

Raila, who lost his presidential bid on August 8, will get another chance after the Supreme Court on September 1 annulled Kenyatta’s victory, citing irregularities and illegalities. It ordered a repeat in 60 days.

However, Raila has accused the IEBC of being a puppet of the Jubilee party and said he will not participate in the rerun if election officials are not removed and prosecuted for crimes.

The Supreme Court did not find any individual responsible but cited enormous failings that made for a irredeemably flawed election process.

The IEBC has asked the opposition to call off protests until it can explain various measures being taken to A?a��A�enhance the credibility and integrity” of the vote.

“IEBC cannot begin the process of an honest election as long as those responsible for the irregularities and illegalities are still lurking in its corridors,” Raila told reporters.

“IEBC has refused to dismiss or suspend them. That is why we are today beginning these peaceful campaigns to force them out by public pressure so the process of a fair election can at last begin,” he said.

Speaking as protesters gathered outside his office, Chiloba said he would not resign. A?a��A�I have a responsibility before me and I have to discharge that responsibility,” he told the Star.

Some Kenyatta supporters also took to the streets in Nairobi but there were no clashes between the two sides.

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