By Tobias Chanji
Provincial administrators in Kwale County fear for their lives after suspected Mombasa Republican Council (MRC) members killed a chief early this week.
Several chiefs and their assistants, reports indicate, are living in fear of reprisal attacks following Monday murder of an administrator in Kombani area. MRC adherents allegedly killed assistant chief Salim Changu after suspecting he had betrayed their leader Omar Mwamnwadzi to police.
One of the assistant chief’s relative, Hamisi Ali, who is a village elder, has since gone into hiding after some men sympathetic to the MRC leader threatened him.
Area councillor Nassir Kilanga, who had also gone into hiding but surfaced during the burial of the assistant chief on Tuesday, said he had received reports that MRC followers are looking for him.
Coast PPO Aggrey Adoli has, however, assured the administrators and residents that police have beefed up security. He added that detectives are looking for about 50 people linked to MRC.
“The crackdown will go on until we get all those that we are looking for. There are over 50 people on our list,” Adoli said in Mombasa. Speaking in Diani, Kwale County Commissioner Evans Achoki announced that a special unit of Administration Police officers would be deployed at Ng’ombeni on a piece of land acquired by Government last year.
Ng’ombeni is near Mwamnwadzi’s home area. Achoki did not disclose the size of the AP unit but said the Government has been moving equipment to the site since last week.
“The officers were supposed to be brought last week but we delayed securing huts and tents,” said Achoki.
He described Ng’ombeni as a “hot spot” that requires “maximum security” but added that the Government has also identified other areas of concern in Vuga, Matuga, Waa, Kombani and Tiwi where General Service Unit police officers will be deployed.
The commissioner said the Government believes there are MRC militants in Kombani because it is Mwamnwadzi’s birthplace.