Uhuru rallies MPs to pass Bill to fight terrorism and banditry

Uhuru-UNIVERSITYOFNAIROBI26President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy, Mr William Ruto, Wednesday rallied Jubilee MPs to pass an amendment Bill to fight terrorism and banditry.

The President hosted the MPs and senators at State House where he explained why he needed more powers to deal with terrorism and asked them to pass the Security Laws (Amendment) Bill.

MPs at the meeting said the President said he was being blamed by the opposition, civil societies and the clergy for failing to tame insecurity yet the law did not give him the authority to deal decisively with the attacks.

“The President said everyone was saying the buck stopped with him but the Constitution did not give him enough powers to fight terrorism,” said an MP who requested not to be named.

A senator said the President argued that since the buck stopped with him, he deserved the powers that would allow him to deal decisively with government officials who failed in their duties.

He made it clear that he needed the powers to come down hard on the Inspector-General of Police and the two deputies, the Director of Criminal Investigations and the National Intelligence Services director.

SECURITY TENURE

The Bill, which is expected to be taken to the House for debate Wednesday, proposes to take away the security of tenure of the IG of Police and the two deputies, NIS director and the DCI.

The proposed law comes two weeks after suspected Al-Shabaab militants killed 64 people in Mandera in two separate incidents.

Opposition leaders and the public heaped pressure on the President and called for his resignation.

President Kenyatta responded by nominating Kajiado Central MP Joseph Nkaissery as Interior Cabinet Secretary in the place of Mr Joseph ole Lenku. Inspector-General of Police David Kimaiyo retired and is yet to be replaced.

National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale told the House that the Bill would go for the second reading and possibly allow for the Third Reading at a later date or on the same day.

Jubilee MPs meet this morning to strategise on how to rally their colleagues to passthe Bill.

Said Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria: “There will be a meeting tomorrow (today). We want to make it clear that when the Bill comes to the House, there will be no coalitions, religious affiliations or partnerships. We ask Kenyans to watch out for those who will be on the side of freedom and democracy and those who will be on the side of terrorists and killers.”

The opposition opposes the amendment Bill, arguing that it infringes on the freedom of expression, the media and the right to privacy of Kenyans.

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