State House has denied that the withdrawal of security detail attached to Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho and his Kilifi counterpart Amason Kingi was political.
In a morning address to the press at State House Mombasa on Sunday, State House Spokesperson Manoah Esipisu said security matters are a responsibility of regional security commanders adding that the move was part of a reorganisation exercise of the security agencies in the coast region.
He dismissed the complaints by the two governors as “juvenile tantrums” which will not disrupt the Jubilee administration’s agenda of taking development to the coast.
“The withdrawal of VIP protection from this region is not political in any way. It is an exercise where the regional commanders are reorganising themselves and it has no political motives. The commanders can do what they deem good,” he said.
Asked why the withdrawal affected only Mr Joho and Mr Kingi who are known opposition diehards, Mr Esipisu said he could not answer detailed queries on behalf of the regional security commanders.
“I think some of these questions can be answered by the regional security commanders who are mandated to deal with the security issues,” he said.
But he termed the move which has raised political storm across the country and on social media as “normal” saying restructuring of the security agencies happens, always.
Asked whether the government should not be held responsible in the event that the two governors are harmed since they are unprotected, Mr Esipisu said the government will protect all its citizens.
“It is the responsibility of the government to protect every citizen. Even my security and your security is the duty of the State,” he said.
On Friday night, security officers attached to the two governors — drawn mainly from the General Service Unit — were withdrawn and ordered to hand over their firearms and report back to their stations.
The move has been condemned by political leaders in Mombasa who read politics following an earlier spat between the Head of State and Governor Joho over national government projects in the county.
Mr Joho had told the President at Buxton that the Jubilee government should not take credit for projects that had been funded by the World Bank.
Coast legislators including Mombasa Woman Rep Mishi Mboko and MPs Badi Twalib (Jomvu), Rashid Bedzimba (Kisauni), Abdulswamad Nassir (Mvita), Suleiman Dori (Msambweni) and William Kamoti (Rabai) took a swipe at the government for what they termed perennial intimidation of the governors.
On the ongoing doctor’s strike, Mr Esipisu said the government’s 40 per cent offer still stood and dismissed their Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) as illegal because it did not have input from the Salaries Remuneration Commission (SRC) which is mandated to look into civil service earnings.
However, he said on Tuesday, the government and doctors union representatives will meet again “and I am sure the matter will receive more attention in the coming weeks”.
On demands by the Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) that an audit be conducted over the recently released KCSE results, Mr Esipisu said the Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i did his job.
“The minister has done his job which we believe is credible and with integrity. There can be many such complaints after such an event”, he said.