Hired crowds causing violence, says Matiang'i

Cabinet Secretary for Transport James Macharia [left] and Interior and Coordination of the Government CS Fred Matiangi [on his left] address press after inspecting Government projects in Mombasa on April 6, 2022. [Omondi Onyango, Standard]

The government has warned politicians against hiring crowds for their rallies. Interior Cabinet Secretary  Fred Matiang’i blamed hired crowds for violence.

Speaking at Liwatoni Fish Complex after inspecting MV Doria, a surveillance vessel for Kenya Coast Guard Service, the CS noted that people who attend political meetings voluntarily cannot fight for politicians.

“We are asking our leaders, particularly politicians, to tone down on their speeches. We are asking them to avoid hiring people to their meetings because such crowds end up colliding,” he said.

On Friday, goons pelted ODM Leader Raila Odinga’s helicopter in Uasin Gishu with stones. Police have since interrogated some politicians and arrested other suspects.

Dr Matiang’i, however, said security has improved ahead of the August General Election.

But the CS cautioned that terrorism remained a threat. “These are tough times. We need to be on the alert. The challenge of terrorism is still here with us,” he said.

Dr Matiang’i, who was accompanied by Coast Regional Commissioner John Elungata, was on a tour to review the progress of the Coast Guard Service and inspect government projects.

The CS also discussed election preparedness with county commissioners from the region.

He said the security situation in Lamu would be reviewed with the possibility of lifting the dusk to dawn curfew in areas affected by terror-related attacks.

Dr Matiang’i thanked the Coast Guard, which was established a few years ago, and promised more resources for the next phase of its operations.