Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiangi has told MPs that last week’s attack on a chopper ferrying Azimio presidential candidate Raila Odinga was elaborately planned.
The CS said preliminary investigations have unearthed extensive prior meetings and funding of the incident in Eldoret that left the chopper and vehicles damaged.
“It was planned because we have arrested suspects with a lot of money in Kshs. 50 notes. Clearly, there must have been some choreography behind that because it’s not coincidental that the suspects had so much money in the same denominations, and some of them were distributing it around that particular time,” he said.
Police have arrested and questioned 17 suspects in connection with the attack and are pursuing more suspects.
Two MPs (Oscar Sudi of Kapseret and Caleb Kositany of Soy) and Uasin Gishu County Assembly Speaker David Kiplagat have also been summoned to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) over the matter.
Appearing before the Parliamentary Committee on Administration and National Security, Dr. Matiang’i however said such incidents were isolated and that majority of political activities across the country were generally peaceful.
He cited Deputy President William Ruto’s incidents in Busia Town and Kondele in Kisumu County as the other few instances of crowd trouble that were effectively dealt with.
But he warned that rampant voter bribery and ‘rented crowds’ involving the ferrying of supporters to political functions are threatening peace and straining security resources.
“Politicians are spending money to pay youths and move huge groups of people and ferry others at night. This phenomenon of renting crowds and trying to posture for popularity or what you may call pretended populism is what is actually going to hurt us.”
Kerio Valley Insecurity
He said the government has ring-fenced enough resources to secure the upcoming general election and will match the needs of the IEBC to ensure the polls are conducted in a peaceful environment.
“We have more resources than we had in 2017. We have more personnel than we had. Our police-to-population ratios have significantly reduced, and we are prepared and sufficiently resourced to support the conduct of the general elections.”
Responding to MPs’ concerns over the volatile areas of the North Rift and the North-Eastern region, Dr. Matiang’i revealed that 25 percent of policing resources are currently dedicated to police operations and conflict resolution mechanisms in the region.
He cited political incitement, the proliferation of illegal firearms, and high levels of illiteracy as the major causes of ethnic clashes.
More investments in roads, water, and agricultural services to open up the area were among the long-term interventions being implemented.
The government has created and operationalized over 50 new administrative units in the region to decentralize government services and bring resources closer to the population.
More dams and water pans are also under construction, simultaneously with the building of schools and essential infrastructure to open up the region for the region.