Police on Tuesday announced that bodyguards for Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho and Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi were reinstated after re-organisation following concerns that they had more than 15 officers attached to them.
The withdrawal of their security detail last Friday emanated from a memo sent from the police headquarters directing officers and vehicles to desist from escorting and clearing roads for county government officers.
In the memo signed by Senior Assistant Inspector-General of Police King’ori Mwangi officers providing escort and chase cars to the officials were warned that they would face disciplinary action.
He further ordered county and regional commanders to initiate disciplinary action against police officers violating the directive.
Earlier on Tuesday, Mombasa Senator Hassan Omar asked for Joho’s and Kingi’s security detail to be assigned according to the guidelines issued by the office of the Inspector General of Police.
“We all face similar threats. We are all opposing the same government and we have not seen any reason to move with a police post at every corner,” Omar complained.
“There must be an audit and discipline.”
He accused Kingi and Joho of flaunting their bloated security detail to the extent of intimidating people and misusing firearms.
According to Joho, it was an absurd precedent especially when the country was gearing up for the August General Election.
He deemed it imperative for the government to regulate the number of police officers, firearms and other security detail assigned to leaders to ensure there is a level of responsibility exercised even as they protect them.
“There needs to have firm guidelines. Why are you carrying a firearm to a political rally? To what extent can those firearms be carried?” he wondered.
“People brandish their guns and shoot in the air during elections. There are concerns. People of Mombasa are living in fear, every time people are intimidated and threatened,” Omar claimed.
According to Omar, Joho and his family alone have over 19 guns and about 15 armed police officers that he deemed unnecessary.
He further urged the National Firearm Licensing Bureau to investigate the number of firearms which are being owned by private citizens especially by politicians at the Coast.
On the other hand, Joho’s and Kingi’s allies have condemned the government for withdrawing his security detail terming it as a show of might by rival Jubilee government.
However, it was not the first time that Joho had fallen out with the security organs in the country.
In June 2016, his security detail was withdrawn over allegations that his bodyguards assaulted a woman.