NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 9 – Leader of Majority in the National Assembly Aden Duale on Wednesday received rare support when opposition MPs from the Orange Democratic Movement backed his statement condemning the handling of the ongoing crackdown in Nairobi’s Eastleigh Estate.
MPs Junet Mohammed (Suna East), John Mbadi (Suba), Phillip Wandayi (Ugunja) and Abbas Mohammed (Wajir East) appealed to law enforcement agencies to uphold the rights of all those arrested during the crackdown and to treat them in a humane and non-discriminatory manner.
Mohammed, who was elected on a URP ticket noted the police have violated the Bill of Rights as provided in the Constitution which states that an arrested person has the right to be brought before a court as soon as reasonably possible, but not later than 24 hours after being arrested.
“The world has a history of where concentration camps have been created. Concentration camps did not begin in Kasarani; it began a long time ago in Germany. The actions of the Jubilee Coalition government will lead to this kind of thing,” he added.
“The end result of this is that it may end up even radicalising many more Muslim youths who may feel disenfranchised by this particular government.”
Duale on Friday threatened to withdraw support for the Jubilee Coalition government over what he termed arbitrary arrests of “his people.”
The crackdown on terror suspects by the government on Tuesday degenerated into a war of words between partners in the ruling Jubilee coalition, with Kigumo MP Jamleck Kamau and eight other TNA legislators tearing into Duale for alleging that the government was targeting Somalis and Muslims in its anti-terror fight.
ODM MPs John Mbadi and Opiyo Wandayi demanded the immediate closure of the Safaricom Kasarani Stadium, which is being used as a temporary camp for persons arrested in the on-going police swoop.
“We don’t share the same party with Duale, some of us do not support him in many aspects including his uncalled for and unnecessary defence of a failing Jubilee Coalition administration but we agree with him that the process that the administration is using in Eastleigh is not acceptable,” Mbadi stated.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has expressed concern over the arrests, after the Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo turned down their request to access to the stadium which is manned by the paramilitary police General Service Unit personnel.
Suna East MP Mohammed cautioned that the profiling of Somalis in the country might lead to xenophobic attacks similar to the experience in South Africa in 2008 after immigrants became a scapegoat for social problems, such as unemployment, crime and a lack of housing.
“We ask the Jubilee Coalition administration to use a civilized such as the intelligence service casing suffering to many people and apply legal means to deal with them,” he said.
Last week, Kenya’s government ordered all Somali refugees living in towns to move into designated camps in a bid to end the attacks.
President Uhuru Kenyatta said the operation would continue to protect Kenya from further attacks by Al-Shabaab, which is linked to Al-Qaeda.
“We are not fighting any religion or community. Our fight is against criminals who kill innocent children, women and men going about their everyday activities, including praying,” he said on Saturday.
On 24 March six people died in an attack on a church in Likoni, Mombasa.
Last September, at least 67 people were killed after Al-Shabaab militants took control of the Westgate shopping mall.