Kenyan police pursue crucial blast leads

June 16, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 16 – The government said on Wednesday that police were following several crucial leads to apprehend the perpetrators of Sunday’s grenade attacks at a No campaign rally that left six people dead and 131 others injured.

Internal Security Minister George Saitoti told Parliament that no arrests had been made yet, but that the government had deployed a team of high ranking officers to investigate the incident.

Prof Saitoti reiterated that the government would go to great lengths to comprehensively investigate the matter.

“The directives are very clear that investigations must be carried out very quickly and we get the report. It is not going to be business as usual,” he said.

He added: “we have put together a very strong team of experts in the police, in the intelligence and those in the army.”

Police on Tuesday announced they were offering a Sh500,000 reward to anyone with information that may lead to the arrest of those who planned and executed the blast at Uhuru Park.

“Our investigations are focused on a broad spectrum of individuals and I don’t think we should speculate,” Prof Saitoti said.

The Minister was however taken to task by Member of Parliament who accused the police of a security breach during Sunday’s rally.

“I arrived at the scene one hour after the blast and only five police officers were there,” said Konoin MP Julius Kones.

“What has happened to the intelligence arm of government? We keep voting so much money for them but they seem to be going to sleep,” posed Martha Karua.

The legislators demanded that the government puts in place elaborate security plans for future rallies.

Prof Saitoti assured that the government would deploy security officers in future rallies and intensify intelligence gathering to preempt any violence attacks.

“Why was the convener of the rally allowed to exceed beyond 6pm?” asked Imenti Central MP Gitobu Imanyara.

“We would want to know the future plans for rallies in terms of the number of police officers and the enforcement of timings of these rallies,” said Garsen MP Danson Mungatana.

The Minister also remained firm that the government would crack down on all hate speech mongers who are could incite violence during the referendum campaigns.



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