MPs committee blames Shabaab for Lamu attack

August 6, 2014 12:10 pm
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The committee has instead blamed the Al Shabaab militia who were reportedly working with some locals to create mayhem/FILE
The committee has instead blamed the Al Shabaab militia who were reportedly working with some locals to create mayhem/FILE
NAIROBI Kenya, Aug 6 – The National Assembly Committee on Administration and National Security has ruled out politics in the Lamu attacks which saw close to 100 people killed, many others maimed and left homeless.

The committee has instead blamed the Al Shabaab militia who were reportedly working with some locals to create mayhem.

According to the committee’s chairman Asman Kamama, “there was some cooperation with the locals. The Al Shabaab who were trained in Somalia are the ones that were used by the locals to perpetrate this.”

This statement contradicts the position of the government which was adamant that the attacks were perpetrated by ‘local political networks’.

The committee is still conducting investigations to ascertain the direct relationship between the violence witnessed and politics.

The committee seemed not to have reached a final conclusion over the actual cause of the violence as Kamama also alluded to a relationship between the conflict and the land issue.

While responding to a question from Kakamega Woman Representative Rachel Amolo over whether the violence was related to land ownership, Kamama said; “Yes, indeed, it is related to land and that is why the government is taking measures to ensure land grabbers are dealt with according to law.”

Already, the government has revoked 22 title deeds of persons and entities believed to have grabbed huge pieces of land in Lamu area.

The Lamu attacks which hit headlines around the world put the government’s commitment to security to question with many particularly the residents blaming the security forces for laxity.

The commission seemed to agree with the residents as it confirmed that during its investigations it found that the security apparatus did not promptly respond to the residents’ distress calls after the initial attack.

Owing to this, the divisional police boss and the Administration Police Commander in charge of the area were interdicted and new persons appointed.

What made the situation worse was the fact that even after the government deployed the military to Mpeketoni following the first attack which saw 60 people killed, there were six other subsequent attacks which saw more lives lost.

Another issue of concern for the Members of Parliament was the compensation of the victims of the attack. Kamama said there was no arrangements for the victims to be compensated save for the Sh50,000 given by the government to families of those who lost their loved ones to cater for funeral expenses.

The committee intends to visit the attack areas in the next two weeks to assess the situation and get more information before a concrete report over the issue is released.

Three people have been charged with murder following the incident, with the Lamu governor Issa Timamy among those being investigated.

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