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Police: Why we arrested senators

By Cyrus Ombati | August 20th 2020 at 10:00:00 GMT +0300

Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i (second left), Director of Criminal Investigation George Kinoti (left) and Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai (right) after meeting Senators yesterday. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i has denied ordering the arrest of three senators ahead of a crucial vote in the Senate on sharing of county revenue.

He said the arrest and questioning of the three was planned earlier on by police and that he neither had a hand in it nor was it linked to the special Senate sitting that was scheduled on Monday.

The CS was addressing journalists after attending a closed-door session led by National Security Committee chair and Garissa Senator Yusuf Haji.

Matiang’i was accompanied by Inspector General of Police Hilary Mutyambai and Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti.

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Mutyambai said police had summoned Senators Christopher Langat (Bomet), Steve Lelegwe (Samburu) and Cleophas Malala (Kakamega) on Saturday in their respective counties, but they failed to appear.

He told the Senate committee that police had directed Lelegwe to report at a police station in Maralal to record a statement on incidents of insecurity in Samburu County.

Lelegwe is said to have responded that he was busy in Nairobi.

“He asked police to send officers to Nairobi to record his statement there. He then switched off his mobile phone until Monday morning. All MPs from the county have recorded statements over the incidents,” he said.

He said Langat had been asked to record his statement over claims of oathing in his area, but he did not respond prompting police to act.

According to the IG, Malala had also been called by Kakamega County Commissioner Esther Maina on Sunday on allegations of flouting Covid-19 pandemic rules, but switched off his mobile phone.

“He switched on the mobile phone on Sunday night at 1am and pinpointed where he was in Kitengela, asking the commissioner to send officers there to record his statement,” said Mutyambai.

The IG said the arrests had nothing to do with the Senate session on Monday, but was a routine probe.

Matiang'i said police acted independently and were not ordered on their nature of investigations and operations.

Explaining why he failed to appear before the committee on Monday, Matiang'i said his office received the summoning letter at 3.44pm indicating that he was supposed to appear before the team at 1pm.

“I had to call the chairman, Yusuf Haji, hours later and told him I was ready to appear on Wednesday. I did not snub the committee as claimed,” he said.

Matiang’i told senators he would have stopped the arrests had he known about the plan.

The CS proposed that senators set up a security and integrity liaison office to help Parliament liaise with the Interior ministry on issues affecting MPs.

Senate Senators Arrests Fred Matiang’i
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