Tight security after bomb scare in Kenyan capital

July 20, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 20 – Security has been heightened at Jogoo House following a bomb scare late on Monday.

Capital News witnessed vehicles and people entering both Jogoo House ‘A’ and ‘B’ being vetted thoroughly on Tuesday, before being allowed to enter the offices.

Jogoo ‘A’ houses the Ministries of Education and Higher Education while ‘B’ houses the Local Government Ministry, the Kenya News Agency and the Office of the Vice President and Home Affairs Ministry.

Both entries and exits were manned by armed prisons officers who were seen screening vehicles.

“We are not taking chances at all.  We are under instructions to ensure there is enough security here after yesterday’ [Monday] bomb scare,” one security guard said.

At the receptions of both buildings, visitors were strictly required to deposit their national identity cards with security officials before proceeding to their destinations within the buildings.

“It is not the first time we are doing this, but this time round we are being strict because there was a scare here yesterday,” another security official said.

The officers explained how they were ordered to evacuate everyone in the buildings late on Monday after word went round that there was a bomb planted in one of the offices at Jogoo House ‘B’.

“We do not know what was happening until police officers came and told us to evacuate people.  Everyone was ordered out and that is when a search was mounted. They told us they were looking for a bomb,” a security officer who cannot be named because he is not authorised to speak to the media said.

“The scare was reported at the Jogoo House ‘B’ but the officers ordered everyone even in Jogoo House ‘A’ to vacate,” he added.

The search was conducted by detectives from the Bomb Disposal Unit (BDU) which is based at the CID headquarters. They were accompanied by police officers from the Nairobi Central Police station.

“But after the search, nothing was found. There was nothing at all. It was simply a bomb scare,” an officer at the BDU said.

The bomb scare targeted the office block where Higher Education William Ruto sits, but he was away at the time.

The Minister could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.

Security forces in the country have been on high alert since last week, when two bombs exploded in Kampala, Uganda killing 76 people and injuring more than 100 others.

Two days ago, police arrested a pastor and two quarry workers after they were allegedly found with materials capable of making a bomb.

Pastor John Kamau Mbugua and Samuel Chege Gitau were jointly charged on Monday with possessing two kilograms of prilled ammonium nitrate, electric fuses and detonators which they allegedly intended to use to harm the public.

The two however denied the charges before Kibera Senior Principal Magistrate Grace Nzioka who freed them a bond of Sh500,000 with a surety of the same amount each.  Both however spent the night in custody after they failed to secure the bond.

Their case will be mentioned on August 24.


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