Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph ole Lenku Sunday accused unnamed “former leaders” of recruiting the outlawed Mungiki sect and the Mombasa Republican Council to cause instability.
Mr Lenku, who is cleared to receive top secret security information but who has in the past made statements which later turned out to be inaccurate, claimed that the leaders are preparing Mungiki and MRC to advance a political cause.
“I am not afraid to say that they have started recruiting the Mungiki sect to advance their political agenda,” he said at Gitui ACK church in Murang’a County.
He further alleged that they were using MRC to cause chaos at the Coast and the matter was getting out of hand because they were “also financing Al Shabaab.”
Mr Lenku, who was speaking in Kiswahili, did not refer specifically to anyone, only using the words “former leaders” and “they” in his statements.
However, the Opposition reacted sharply to his statement with Mr Raila Odinga’s spokesman, Mr Dennis Onyango, last evening asking Mr Lenku not to agree to be used to fight non-existent wars.
He said the Opposition would not succumb to the self-fulfilling prophecies similar to what Kanu deployed at the height of the clamour for multipartism.
“Cord holds that it is the government’s duty to provide security to citizens. Cord will hold the government responsible for all security breaches in the country and at all rallies,” he said.
Bungoma senator Moses Wetangula, also the Senate Minority Leader, said only individuals can commit crimes, not political parties.
“We are law-abiding citizens and if there is any Opposition leader among us who has broken the law, the government should not hesitate to take action,” he said.
Mr Lenku had said that the political heat in the country was energising Al Shabaab who have taken responsibility for various terrorist attacks that have claimed lives in the recent past. MRC is a secessionist gang at the Coast which targets upcountry people while Mungiki is a criminal gang known for its brutality and extortion. Both are outlawed.
Cord, the Opposition coalition, has demanded national talks to debate rising insecurity, the cost of living, corruption and the disbandment of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission which it accuses of bungling last year’s election.
While politicians allied to the government have been arguing that Opposition rallies will lead to chaos, Cord has held a series of them peacefully in Nairobi and other parts of the country, including in Eldoret and Ntulele at the weekend.
Mr Onyango said: “The opposition is concerned at the scare-mongering Jubilee has embarked on. It is concerned that days after Jubilee said it had information about plans to cause chaos during the Eldoret Cord rally, nobody has been arrested over those plans.”
Mr Odinga has been warning the government of unspecified consequences if the President does not agree to dialogue by July 7, the anniversary of the famous 1990 protest rally to press for multi-party democracy.
Mr Lenku Sunday claimed that calls for demonstrations on Saba Saba are “geared towards inciting communities to rise against one another”.
“We know the calls for mass demonstration on Saba Saba day are meant to pit two communities against each other,” he said, without identifying the communities. “Some people are funding the criminal gangs to cause chaos so that everyone can believe that there is no security in the country.”
He vowed that the government will “ruthlessly deal” with leaders who incite communities.
“The government will not allow such people to cause chaos and kill innocent people only for greed to capture power,” he said.