Joho wanted suspected drug baron released, was not arrested, says Marwa

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Hassan Joho was not arrested on Friday, Nelson Marwa has said, adding the Mombasa Governor stayed at the police station to cause chaos.

Marwa, who is Coast regional coordinator, said Joho stormed Mombasa CID headquarters demanding the release of a suspected drug baron found with more than three guns at his home.

He said the outspoken county boss, who caused a frenzy yesterday night, faked his arrest after police refused to release the suspect.

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“Joho sent short messages that he had been arrested only to create acrimony, tension, conflict, sympathy and the ‘we’ feeling,” Marwa told a press conference in Mombasa on Saturday.

“Why was the Governor so determined to rescue a drug baron who was in possession of more than three guns? What was the big agenda?”

But county director of communications, Richard Chacha, said the Governor was blocked from leaving the station since he went there at midday.

Chacha said the relative Joho visited was arrested when officers raided and ransacked his home, amid a security withdrawal saga.

The regional coordinator alleged a link between Joho and the suspect, whom he refused to name, concerning a business he was transacting.

Marwa said the suspect was also found with an air ticket and that he was planning to escape. He did not give the destination but said authorities have established the suspect has connections the world over.

The regional coordinator said the guns may have been stolen from a store in Nyale which police raided and are searching.

Nyali range is owned by Mombasa inspectorate director Naheed Musa, who said on Friday that heavy police presence at his shop was normal.

But Marwa said they were looking into claims that Musa has been selling guns illegally or leasing them to youths for use in intimidating “his master’s” political opponents.

Musa, he feared, was running a secret gun range and training youth to use the weapons. There have been allegations that Musa recruited ex-military into the inspectorate.

Marwa, who has been at loggerheads with Joho, said the operation that led to the arrest and the store raid, will go on despite interference by Joho.

“Security will not be sacrificed for politics,” he said, terming Joho’s “vigorous involvement” suspicious.

He noted more arrests will be made.

The security and guns drama that has surrounded Joho has resulted in speculation over whether the government is after him or if he is carrying out a public relations stunt.

Mombasa Senator Hassan Omar demanded an audit of firearms in Joho’s possession. He accused the Governor of employing diversionary tactics by playing the victim in his security saga and said his detail should be reduced.

Joho, he said, moves around with at least 35 guns with 450 bullets on a regular day, a size enough to take out the Deputy President’s entourage.

But Joho moved from his house in Nyali after his security was withdrawn. He said he did not care whether officers freshly deployed to the home were to spy on him, and reiterated that he did not need the government’s security.

 

Marwa, who announced a war on drug dealers and illegal gun owners at the Coast, said two notorious barons have been arrested in Lamu so far.

“They are Faizal Shee and Varazina Mohamed. There is a warrant for the arrest of Mohamed Shee and Moto Shee,” he said, adding they seized cocaine and bhang.

Moto has been linked to cartels in Malindi, Mombasa and Diani.

“The government is mopping up criminals in all counties. [Drug dealing] is unacceptable,” said Marwa.

-the-star.co.ke

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