Arson attack on Magara home in Nairobi

September 6, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept 6 – Suspected arsonists on Saturday night attempted to petrol-bomb the Nairobi home of Trade Assistant Minister Omingo Magara, only weeks after dozens of leaflets were found in his rural home in Kisii.

The attack occurred at about 9 pm, shortly after the South Mugirango legislator left the compound.

He told reporters on Sunday that his family members were away at the time the incident occurred but workers and security personnel were present when the attackers detonated two of the petrol bombs at his gate.

The area is heavily guarded by police officers deployed to homes of top government officials living there, including that of the embattled Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission Director (KACC) Aaron Ringera.

“I was away at the time. I had just left in an unfamiliar car and perhaps they (arsonists) thought I was still in my house. My family had also gone to do some shopping for children going to school on Monday. That is when I was called and informed that my home had been petrol-bombed,” Mr Magara told reporters who visited his home on Sunday.

Mr Magara who was accompanied by his wife and other family members said the incident has left them shocked, and urged the police to expedite the investigations.

“I commend the police because they responded very fast. They were here in a matter of minutes and started combing the area where they recovered a Jerrican the attackers used,” he said.

A senior police officer at the Ongata Rongai Police station told Capital News that investigations had been launched but no suspect been arrested yet.

“It is a matter we are treating with all the seriousness it deserves. We are pursuing some leads but it is early to disclose all that we are doing, because it can jeopardise the probe,” a senior detective said.

The officer said the Assistant Minister’s home will remain under police guard and revealed that additional security had been given to Mr Magara.

“It is true I have additional security but then what I can tell you for sure is that if my position in terms of articulating issues that I want done is anything to worry anybody else, I am prepared to pay that price because if you are living today and you have no cause that you can put your life out for. Then you have got no reason living,” the Assistant Minister said.

The legislator said he has linked the Saturday night attack to incidents where defamatory leaflets circulated in his rural home in Kisii and Nairobi.

“At first, I didn’t attach much importance on them but now that they are touching on my life and that of my family, I will not take them lightly,” he said.

And he had a warning message to his political detractors and masterminds of the Saturday night attack: “The truth of the matter is that I will have to do what I want to do and I must do it. I don’t want to call it a political arson but now given the hindsight of the leaflets which have been circulating I have no reason but to believe that it has something linked to my political career. But then remember I am a political animal and therefore anything happening you must start by elimination. And I want to look at it that way. There must be thorough investigations."


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