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Governor Joho sticks to his guns against State machinery

POLITICS
By Standard Team | March 15th 2016

Orange Democratic Movement Deputy Party Leader Hassan Joho yesterday demanded respect from the national government as a democratically elected leader.

The Mombasa governor who is tussling with the State over his right to own guns told a press conference in Nairobi that the harassment directed at him was as a result of his political stand.

“I have been at the centre of State-sponsored machinations targeting me individually and businesses linked to me. These acts that amount to persecution, intimidation and blackmail have taken a more dramatic and scary turn after the by-elections,” said Mr Joho who was flanked by ODM leaders.

He went on: “I remain committed to the spirit of our Constitution that creates two levels of government that are complementary. I demand respect as a leader of a level of government recognised by the Constitution.”

Joho insisted that the matter of the guns should go through the legal process. On Friday last week the Chief Licensing Officer Samuel Kimaru revoked Joho’s firearms certificate and accused him of being unfit to hold firearms, without providing details. But through his lawyer Ahmednassir Abdullahi, Joho has written to Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery appealing the revocation of his firearm licence by Chief Licensing Officer Samuel Kimaru.

Joho said that whereas Mr Kimaru has statutory powers under Section 5 (7) of the Firearms Act, he had failed to bring his decisions within the facts in issue and correlate the same to the applicable statutory provisions.

During the press conference, Joho said that after the ODM victory in Malindi, the government suddenly realised he had too many body guards that have to be taken away. He accused the security forces of intimidating voters during the by-election.  However, Joho also clarified that he would abide by the law and the Constitution.

“I was elected legally under the laws of Kenya. I remain truly committed to the rule of law and constitutionalism. We have appealed about the gun issue although the CS has already stated his impartiality, but we leave the law to take its course,” added Joho.

But in a quick rejoinder, Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet said that the claims of police intimidation were untrue.

“Our warning still stands. The order to Governor Joho to surrender the weapons licensed to him still stands and no amount of entreaties will change our position as we are convinced he is not of suitable temperament at the moment to be entrusted with firearms. He must therefore surrender as lawfully ordered,” said Mr Boinett.

Back in Mombasa, there was political heat as a cross section of Coast leaders reacted angrily to the withdrawal of body guards attached to Joho, Kilifi Governor Amason Kingi, County MP Aisha Jumwa, Mombasa County MP Mishi Mboko, Mvita MP Abdulswamad Sharif Nassir and Embakasi North MP Irshad Shumra who were active in the March 7 by election in Malindi.

Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya and two members of parliament from Taita Taveta County condemned the withdrawal of the security detail and accused the State of persecution and denial of rights.

Mr Mvurya who is chairman of the Jumuiya ya Kaunti za Pwani and vice chairman of the Council of Governors accused the national government of having a sinister motive to intimidate governors.

“The withdrawal of security officers attached to Governor Ali Hassan Joho of Mombasa and Governor Amason Kingi of Kilifi by the national government is an act of intimidation,” he said.

Taita-Taveta County MP Joyce Wanjala Lay and Wundanyi MP Thomas Mwaseghu protested at the government’s move saying it had exposed the opposition leaders to harm.

“It is a constitutional right for the Coast Opposition leaders to be given maximum security and the government should be prepared for any consequences should anything happens to the affected leaders,” said Ms Lay adding that what the government had done was unconstitutional and infringed on their constitutional rights.

The leaders linked Joho, Kingi and Sharrif’s harassment to the recent by-election in Malindi constituency where they led CORD to recapture the parliamentary seat which was held by Mining Cabinet Secretary Dan Kazungu.

 

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