Uhuru meets State officials at the Coast as insecurity rises
By Standard Team | January 13th 2020
President Uhuru Kenyatta continued his two-week stay in Mombasa where he has held meetings with top State officials. Those that the president has met include the Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji and Directorate of Criminal Investigations boss George Kinoti.
Uhuru has also met Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i. He has been in Mombasa almost continuously since December 29 last year, leaving once to attend a burial in Central Kenya.
He returned the same day. Reports indicate the president will stay in Mombasa until Saturday.
While the president has been at the Coast, his deputy William Ruto has also visited his vast farm in Taveta and reportedly toured Mombasa.
Dr Ruto met some Jubilee members at his vast ranch in Taveta sub-county on Thursday, amid reports he had been blocked from his official residence adjacent to the Mombasa State House, the day before.
Yesterday Dr Matiang’i and his ICT counterpart Joe Mucheru arrived in Mombasa and went straight to Mombasa State House for meetings with the president.
“The two CSs arrived early today and they are now at State House with the president,” an intelligence official told The Standard yesterday.
On arrival at Moi International Airport yesterday, Matiang’i held brief discussions with Mr Haji who was leaving for Nairobi after a four-day stay in Mombasa.
He met the president at an exclusive hotel in Nyali.
Others who have met the president at State House or Nyali are Transport Cabinet secretary James Macharia and Mr Kinoti.
The latter arrived in Mombasa on Friday and held discussions with the head of state at a hotel in Nyali.
Matiang’i’s presence in Mombasa has particularly caused anxiety among security agencies who are still smarting from two terrorist attacks in Lamu.
The Interior CS came to Mombasa on Thursday for meetings with the president and discussions with top intelligence and security officials at the Uhuru Na Kazi building.
Macharia also attended this meeting.
“They came to discuss the attacks in Lamu and Garissa,” an official who asked not to be named said.
There are claims the attackers who raided the US base arrived in Kenya from Southern Somalia, through Kiunga in Lamu, in groups from early December last year.
Intelligence officials reportedly relayed information to all military stations in Lamu that the terrorists were armed with night vision equipment seized from the 2016 attack on a Kenya Defence Forces camp in El Adde, Somalia.
The official said that Matiang’i also discussed the impact of the terrorist attacks on the Lamu port, which is about 10 kilometres from the US base that was hit.
The official said in the Thursday meeting, Matiang’i and Macharia held discussions with Coast Regional Coordinator John Elungata, regional police commander Rashid Yakub and top National Intelligence Service officials.
Macharia and Matiang’i appear concerned that militant attacks could derail the planned opening of Lamu port.
Last week, in the wake of the attack on the US base, the Chinese contractor at the Lamu port ordered out expatriates and Kenyan employees over security fears.
A top administrator who also sought anonymity said there is panic in government brought about by the meetings the president is holding.
“We are all anxious since we did not attend any meetings with the president. We can only wait for orders,” said the administrator.
Summoned at night
The official claimed Kinoti was summoned at night on Thursday, and added that the state of anxiety has been heightened by the fact that Uhuru met these officials separately.
He never held a joint meeting.
“The men the president is meeting usually send panic in State offices. We cannot rest until we know what the discussins were about,” said the administration.
Meanwhile, the president has organised another meeting with top security commanders.
The commanders have been summoned to Mombasa for a meeting over incidents of insecurity. The meeting is scheduled for Wednesday.
The security commanders who have been summoned include regional commissioners, regional police commanders and their Directorate of Criminal Investigations counterparts.
The first session of the meeting will be at a hotel in Mombasa while the second will be held at State House Mombasa.
Sources said the meeting is aimed at briefing the president on what is being done to contain terror attacks.
The president wants to understand why there has been an increase in terror incidents even when police have prior intelligence on possible attacks.
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