, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 14 – Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho has suffered a blow after his appeal to the Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet to review a decision to cancel his firearms license was rejected.
Boinnet says Joho is yet to convince the police service of his suitability to continue being a licensed firearm holder.
“The order to Governor Joho to surrender the weapons licensed to him still stands and no amount of entreaties will change our position as we are still convinced he is not of suitable temperament at the moment to be entrusted with firearms,” the police boss said in a statement.
“He must therefore surrender as lawfully ordered,” he asserted.
The Firearms Act Section 5(7)(a) provides that the certificate can be revoked “if the licensing officer is satisfied that the holder is prohibited by or under this Act from possessing a firearm to which the firearm certificate relates, or is of intemperate habits or unsound mind, or is otherwise unfit to be entrusted with a firearm.”
If the holder fails to surrender the firearm within 14 days according to the law from the date of the notice he/she shall be guilty of an offence and is liable to a fine not exceeding Sh1,000.
Joho was licensed to hold a rifle and two pistols.
In a letter to Boinnet, Joho’s lawyer Ahmednasir Abdullahi had argued that the move by Chief Firearms Licensing Officer Samwel Kimaru to cancel the license was political.
“Kimaru was influenced in making his decision by the by-election result of Malindi which was won by Cord and which our client played a prominent role,” Joho’s letter says.
He also contends that Kimaru did not give him a fair hearing pursuant to Article 47 of the Constitution which provides that “every person has the right to administrative action that is expeditious, efficient, lawful, reasonable and procedurally fair.”
It all started last Wednesday when Joho received a letter from Kimaru ordering him to surrender his rifle and two pistols.
The National Police Service on Saturday said he had surrendered one of the firearms and that he was expected to surrender the remaining ones by Sunday.
But Joho says Kimaru “acted to appease and please members of the ruling Jubilee Party and subordinated his decision to the politics of the day.”
In a briefing on Monday, Joho had expressed optimism of retaining the firearms.
“I will leave the matter of the guns to go through the legal process that we have instituted in the hope that we can return some decorum and professionalism to the chest thumping and threats that the National Government wants to call debate,” he said.