Security teams hold crisis talks over foreigners

The three Venezuelans appeared before the Anti-Terror Police Unit. [File, Standard]

A top security organ yesterday held a crisis meeting in the face of the growing rift between two state agencies over the arrest of three Venezuelans found with election materials.

The National Security Advisory Committee (NSAC) deliberated on the tiff between the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) and the electoral commission.

The meeting also discussed the security situation with less than 14 days to the General Election, with a special focus on Mombasa. However, the meeting was held in top secrecy and the details guarded. 

This took place mid-morning when the three Venezuelans had appeared before the Anti-Terror Police Unit to know their fate following their arrest as they tried to enter the country with undeclared election materials.

A senior security official told The Standard that the meeting among things deliberated on whether the three should be deported in light of the findings by the DCI which indicate that their presence in Kenya is part of “dirty political game” during elections.

The police confiscated a bag containing 17 rolls of stickers for at least 10,000 polling stations in 10 counties. They are Nairobi, Kiambu, Nakuru, Meru, Machakos, Murang’a, Bomet, Nyeri, Tharaka Nithi, Nyandarua and Kericho counties.

In a statement last Sunday, DCI boss George Kinoti described the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairman Wafula Chebukati as an “insincere person” after the three were allegedly disowned by CEO Marjan Hussein Marjan and Legal Services Director Crispin Owiye.

Kinoti further contradicted Chebukati’s claim that the three were in the country for legitimate business stating that none of them was an employee of the commission or Smartmatic, the company awarded the contract to deploy technology in the August 9 elections.

DCI boss George Kinoti. [File, Standard]

“The police have established that the suspects’ contracts did not explicitly state they were employees of IEBC or the IT firm contracted to deliver poll materials, as alleged by Chebukati,” said Kinoti in his 11-page statement issued on Sunday.

The statement released by Chebukati yesterday, three days later, ignored issues raised by the DCI concerning the three Venezuelans.

He instead gave an update on the deployment of technology in the poll. “Preparation and dispatch of Kiems Kit for the General Election is currently ongoing,” said Chebukati in a paid up advertisement in the newspapers yesterday.

However, Chebukati was silent on the claims he made last week in support of the three foreigners whose presence in Kenya, Kinoti has warned that is part of the “dirty political game aimed at messing up the elections.”