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Governor wants County askaris armed

30 June 2015, 10:37 Harrison Mbungu

Mombasa - Mombasa County inspectorate department may soon be equipped with armed weapons if a proposal by the Ccounty Governor, Hassan Joho to have senior-most officers in the department armed sails through.

Joho, while re-branding the department at the Mombasa Treasury square on Friday proposed that experienced officers in the County security department be issued with a license to own guns as a way of strengthening the force for it to counter crime activities.

As the drugs menace and terrorism activities remain a top challenge to the officers, Joho said that once armed, they will have personal defense as they maneuver and penetrate through hostile drugs hotpot as they conduct swoops and arrest.

“Probably what we will do is engage with the national police to see if we can process a few licenses for senior most officers who have been trained properly so you can also be well equipped as you penetrate these crime zones. Am sure this is something we can discuss and achieve,” Joho said.

The move which may however receive negative criticism from human rights groups who have even on the record castigating police for brutality, given that most of them are locally trained and have not experienced enough to own a gun.

Read Also: Christians urged to protect Muslims during Ramadhan

Mombasa County government has over 200 County askaris, 10 of whom have received special training from Dubai where they went for a two weeks training by Dubai Civil Defense on criminal handling within the department.

“There are some of those who have done a good job but sometimes they are threatened, but don’t be afraid we are with you,” Joho added, saying the demand for police patrols has increased.

Drug trafficking, mugging and other related criminal activities have dominated most of insecurity hotspots of Kisauni, Mombasa old town and terror-prone Majengo area of Mombasa County where knife attacks have been rampant.

Joho, who was accompanied by Coast regional security commander Robert Kitur, regional traffic Commander Martin Kariuki and Henry Odieki from CID, graced the function urging the newly re-branded inspectorate to embrace discipline in the war against drugs.

“We want thorough engagement with the National Police so that they can receive thorough training to fight criminal activities,” said Joho.

Joho warned the department which has been on the spot over corruption that they risk not only dismissal but also prosecution in court of law for engaging in corruption.

The inspectorate crime department has so far nabbed over 86 suspects of drug trafficking within the County, a move that regional police bosses claim was a result of combined effort from other National police service departments.

This comes as Mombasa inspectorate warms up for the launch of new inspectorate security motorcars to boost surveillance.

Deputy Governor Hezel Katana told the team to embrace discipline as the County government moves on to reform employment status of the officers.

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