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Fred Matiang'i directs police to deal with illegal gangs

Interior CS Fred Matiangi received by Police IG Hilary Mutyambai during the official opening of the Anti-Terror Police Unit at Coast regional police headquarters in Mombasa on July 20, 2022. [Omondi Onyango, Standard]

Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i has directed the police to act ruthlessly against anybody who will attempt to disrupt the peace during the electioneering period in the country.

Matiang'i was speaking on Tuesday during the commissioning of a modern Anti-Terrorist Police Unit (ATPU) station at the Coast Regional Police headquarters in Mombasa.

He said additional police officers will be deployed to the region beginning next week to heighten security ahead of the upcoming August 9 General Elections.

"I have asked the regional security teams to raise the level of security alertness to ensure that we facilitate effective participation in the General Election. We are bringing up special additional resources to back up their work and planning," he said.

Matiang'i added that the government will crack down on illegal gangs and the politicians sponsoring them.

He noted that intelligence reports had flagged out politically-linked mobilisation of gangs and other illegal groupings that could pose a security threat in at least two counties in the Coast region.

"We have players in two counties that may be tempted to rally small groups that could engage in crime," he said.

"My simple advice to them is not to try because we are watching closely. I have asked the security team to act very decisively on any politician who tries to do that kind of a thing,” he added.

The CS was accompanied by British High Commissioner Jane Marriott, Inspector General Hilary Mutyambai, Coast Regional Commissioner John Elungata and other top police officers in a mapping exercise to identify areas which may be prone to violence.

Matiang'i said the State will allocate more security personnel to two counties in the Coast region which had been identified as possible trouble spots.

Matiang'i thanked the British government for supporting Kenya in building the modern anti-terror police facility in Mombasa which will be used in the fight against terrorism.

He said a similar facility will be built in the North Eastern and Western regions to help in the fight against the vice.

He added that the facility will also have a law court to make it easier to process the prosecution of terrorists by replicating courts which have been built at Shimo La Tewa prison in Shanzu.

Marriott said her country had facilitated construction of the station to help Kenya fight terrorism, which is a threat to tourists visiting the country.

She said the station had been built in line with international standards which will ensure the human rights of the suspects are respected.

"Since British tourists are the second highest number of tourists to Kenya, we want to make sure they enjoy Mombasa and Nairobi nights while in Kenya," said Marriott.

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Deputy programme Coordinator Masatomo Yagmaguchi said the organisation has been providing technical support to counter terrorism and piracy in Kenya.

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