Step down over Tana deaths, Minister told

December 22, 2012 10:40 am

, MOMBASA, Kenya, Dec 22 – The Muslims for Human Rights (MUHURI) lobby group is demanding the resignation of Internal Security Minister Katoo Ole Metito saying that he failed to protect more than 41 people who lost their lives in renewed clashes in Tana River on Friday.

The group issued a statement on Saturday claiming that the Minister under whose docket internal security falls had failed to ensure the right to security is observed, as guaranteed in the constitution.

The Kenya Red Cross Society said on Saturday that more than 41 people were killed when rival communities clashed in Kipao village.

Muhuri Executive Director Hussein Khalid stressed that it was hard to understand why the killings occurred despite a heavy police presence in the area.

“A question that begs an answer is where were the security operatives when all this happened? In the media reports, it is claimed that GSU officers were in the village just two days earlier and warned the villagers of dire consequences. That the killings happened soon thereafter raises suspicion as to whether the security forces were involved. Whatever, the case, it is clear that security was not present at all and as a result, many have now lost their lives,” he said.

Khalid further claimed that the attack raised suspicion of foul play, especially since the General Elections are right round the corner.

”Clearly, we cannot sit and watch as those placed in places of authority fail to do their work. That the Minister has failed to protect lives and property which are his core duties leaves him with no choice but to step aside and allow someone else to do what he has failed to do so far,” the Muhuri official said.

There have been cases of insecurity in areas where police contingents have been sent to maintain peace, such as Tana River and the Eastleigh suburb in Nairobi.

Repeat attacks have occurred in these areas, perplexing residents and instilling fear.

The latest incident at Tana River has been widely condemned by the country’s leaders namely President Mwai Kibaki, Prime Minister Raila Odinga and Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka.

“The killings in Tana River have become too much now and we must have a change of guard at the helm of the Internal Security Ministry,” Khalid insisted.



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