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Slain terror suspect worked for Mombasa County Government

The family of Salim Hanjary Bedzimba, who was killed by police in Kisauni, Mombasa has stepped up calls for justice.

Reports indicate that Salim was an administrative officer of the Mombasa County Government and was a personal assistant to an MCA. He was killed alongside Kibwana Ahmed Abdallah on Thursday.

An intelligence officer who asked not to named said Salim deserted his job in January but was still on the payroll.

“The man disappeared from his work place as an administrative officer II because he knew he would be arrested,” said the officer who claimed the deceased escaped a police raid in Majengo, early this year in which a local chief’s son was detained over alleged terror links.

The deceased’s kin denied claims that he had terror links.

Yesterday, Mombasa County Commissioner Maalim Mohamed defended police against claims of extrajudicial killing. Mr Mohamed claimed the state had information linking Salim and Abdallah to terrorism and warned local politicians and civil society against issuing statements about Thursday’s events without proof.

“Civil societies should analyse issues first before concluding that they will go to the streets. Let the law take its course. And those aggrieved should come and we are ready to talk to them. We should be sober and follow the proper avenues," he said.

He refuted the governor’s claims that police planted weapons on the suspects.

“I want to make it clear that we have no malice and not ready and don’t intend to kill innocent Kenyans,” said Mohamed.

“We have no business killing innocent Kenyans. It is true there was a confrontation and an exchange of fire leading to the killing of the two. The weapons were not planted by the police, they belonged to the suspects”, he added.

On Friday Mombasa Governor Hassan Ali Joho castigated security agents over the killings and said leaders and civil society will demonstrate to protest the killings. “We are going to have a demonstration to protest this killing,” Joho told residents at Bulima Grounds in Kisauni.

Counterproductive

Speaking separately in Jomvu MP Badi Twalib also condemned the killings describing them as executions arising from impunity.

Haki Africa rights group officials confirmed that Salim’s family had lodged a report at Nyali Police Station for purposes of starting a private probe into the killings.

Haki Africa’s Executive Director Hussein Khalid warned that assassination of criminal or terror suspects is counterproductive and is unlikely to stem crime and radicalisation.

“We acknowledge there is terrorism, crime and gangs in our community but is killing solving the problems?” Mr Khalid asked.

Mr Twalib who was speaking at Kwa Shee Primary School during presentation of cheques to beneficiaries of bursary, said the killing of the alleged terror suspects amounted to extra judicial killings.

“We condemn with the strongest terms possible. The killing of the three suspects. Kenya is country governed by the law and there is nowhere the law permits extrajudicial killings,” he said.

He said it was wrong for police to shoot-to-kill suspects in a country boasting of a competently trained police force that could arrest suspects and arraign them in court.

Meanwhile, Corporal Bernard Katana Kitu who was killed by a rogue officer at Kapenguria Police Station last week was buried in Dabaso, Watamu, Kilifi County. Kapenguria OCPD Joseph Macharia told mourners that his officers were shocked to learn that their colleague, Abdulhakim Maslah had gone berserk and turned against them.

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