Top Stories / National
Saturday, 07 Jan 2017 19:13 EATnewsdesk@kenyafreepress.com
The government is preparing to deploy dozens of police transport trucks in the coming week. The Police Service placed an order for the personnel transport and anti-riot units last year from General Motors, assemblers of heavy-utility vehicles fitted with Japanese-made Isuzu diesel engines, and at least 40 of the lorries are due to be released by the car manufacturer after the government made an urgent request this week that they be handed over in the coming week, according to well-placed sources.
The vehicles are part of a consignment that has been undergoing branding at the GM assembly plant in Industrial Area, Nairobi. In the last two days, workers at the facility reported of increased pace of the work after an order issued by cabinet secretary for interior Joseph Nkaissery that the trucks should be handed over as soon as possible. All the vehicles have been properly registered. Most had their canvass fitted over the last few days. They have been assigned for allocation to the various police divisions around the country, with most to be deployed in Nyanza, Western, Coast and parts of the Rift Valley, and some for the headquarters.
The presence of a large number of vehicles for the police at the GM pre-sale yard has elicited concern among Kenyans that the country was being militarized in advance of the general elections planned for August this year. As this website reported early in the week, the police service received 25-state-of-the-art cars late December, with more expected to arrive in February. The consignment that was received at the Mombasa Port included bullet-proof and tactical pursuit vehicles that Kenya had acquired for the first time.
Kenya has faced terrorism-related security threats for over six years since the country invaded Somalia in October 2011, and a security source told this website last week that some of the cars received in December will be deployed to terror-prone zones.