Interior CS Kithure Kindiki transfers police commanders in Kilifi County

Interior CS Kithure Kindiki visited the scene of killings linked to pastor Paul Mackenzie in Shakahola, Kilifi County on April 25, 2023. [Kevin Macharia, Interior]

Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki has announced the mass transfer of security officials in Kilifi County.

While addressing the press on Friday, April 27, Kindiki said that the move was necessary for the government to gain the trust of Kenyans.

“We will replace them with their colleagues from elsewhere so that we can show the public that what we are doing is for the good of the country and the good of justice,” the CS said.

“We are not implicating anybody but we are saying if you are the OCS, if you are the commander or a person who ought to have either received a report or you may have received a report and failed to act, then you cannot be part of the investigating team.”

Kindiki also said that the ranks of officers leading the investigations have been upscaled and that the new heads would be announced from Police headquarters on Friday.

“Investigations are going to get new leaders effective tonight,” he said.

The Interior CS also said that the government had suspended the exhumation process in the 800-acre Shakahola forest due to bad weather. 

According to Kindiki, the process needs to be carried out while it is dry to preserve evidence that he said was crucial in court.

He also said that the government would begin carrying out air searches in the forest and the larger 50,000-acre Chakama ranch.

While defending his directive to limit access to the media, Kindiki said that the directive was given to protect the dignity of the victims adding that the government has nothing to hide.

He added that there were discussions with civil society to grant limited access to people and journalists who are interested in the process.

He said that some of the victims may not have died of starvation, adding that the area has armed people that he said were working for embattled Pastor Paul Mackenzie.

Kindiki said that the government was going to be firm on anyone who was involved in the saga that has seen the exhumation of 108 bodies and the rescue of more than 34 people so far.

He reiterated that the government would defeat preachers who he said are acting just like terrorists.

“Same way we have defeated armed terrorists, we will also defeat these terrorists hiding behind scriptures and purported that we will fear them because they are quoting God and scriptures,” he said.

“We will treat them the way we have treated Al Shabaab as a security threat to Kenya.”

He reiterated that the government was not interfering with the work of preachers in the country but was protecting its citizens.

According to Kindiki, the government will act on any preacher found breaking the law.