June 28th 2017

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Joho, Marwa clash over security as governor chases away bodyguards

In quick rejoinder, government spokesman Eric Kiraithe said they might consider withdrawing the security. “If a VIP does not want to be protected, we cannot force it. So the government might consider redeploying the officers to protect Kenyans who are in dire need of security," he said.

By Phillip MuleeThursday, 12 Jan 2017 18:41 EAT

Coast regional coordinator Nelson Marwa addresses journalists at a past event. (Photo: Courtesy/The Star).

Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho has stirred a new storm after ordering the four reinstated security officers out of his Mombasa home. The move which went viral immediately on social media appeared to make good his threat that he would no longer accommodate security from Jubilee government. At yesterday's meeting of the opposition at the Bomas of Kenya, Mr Joho had said he did not regret his challenge to President Uhuru Kenyatta on development projects in the Coast region.

Joho told the rally that he would organise for his independent security detail. "I want to put a stop to this conversation about security. I have asked that they (Jubilee) should not give me security," he said. "I want to tell Jubilee... We do not need your security. We are people who believe in God," he also said.

The governor kicked out the officers who were freshly deployed to guard his home in Nyali and locked the gate. The four, who were deployed on Monday night, had reported on Tuesday morning, only to be told they were not wanted at the residence. “One of the brothers told us we were not needed,” said one of the AP officers. However, Richard Chacha, who is Mr Joho's communications director, was quoted in a local website saying the officers were sent to the wrong house.

The director said his boss moved a day after his security was withdrawn under unclear circumstances. "Let them knock and ask who the new occupants are," he said, adding that Mr Joho had already hired another team for his new home. The AP officers were spotted guarding the residence from outside but they later sat down, seemingly stranded. They noted they did not have access to washrooms and the other privileges they are entitled to. But they said they were just following orders as their seniors had told them to remain at the home.

In quick rejoinder, government spokesman Eric Kiraithe said they might consider withdrawing the security. “If a VIP does not want to be protected, we cannot force it. So the government might consider redeploying the officers to protect Kenyans who are in dire need of security," he said.

The governor's bodyguards were withdrawn last Friday, and even though they were reinstated on Tuesday, Coast regional commissioner Nelson Marwa yesterday warned the governor that the governnment would not provide "excessive" security for any VIPs. Mr Marwa, while addressing a press conference on the security drama earlier on Wednesday, claimed "only drug dealers need more than two guards".

He asked the governor to stop lamenting abouty security provisions since the government was committed to providing him the same level of protection as accorded to all governors, who will now have five officers in their detail.

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