NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 21 – North Eastern Regional coordinator Ernest Munyi, Garissa County commissioner Njenga Miiri and seven other senior officers within the county have been interdicted over the Garissa University College terror attack that claimed 148 lives.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery says a preliminary investigation by a team from the ministry had recommended the investigation of the officers to assess their culpability in responding to intelligence reports of a possible attack in the area, and whether they disregarded the warning.
Others suspended are Christopher Muthee (County Commander) who doubles up as the Assistant Inspector General of Police, Musa Yego (County Criminal Investigations Officer), Charles Wambugu (Kenya Police County Commander), Benjamin Ong’ombe (OCPD) Garissa, John Cheruiyot Sawe sub county AP commander, Nicholas Kimanzi Anti Terrorism Police Unit(ATPU) and Charles Ayoro the Deputy OC, Garissa Police station.
“I take this opportunity to warn all officers bestowed with the responsibility for the management of security across the country. Each will be held accountable for any acts of omission that endangers the lives and property of Kenyans,” warned Nkaissery.
The preliminary inquiry was undertaken by a team investigating the incident in a bid establish loopholes that could have led to the attack.
“I insist, collective action is key to safeguarding the country from terrorists and other elements bent on undermining the security off our nation,” added Nkaissery.
He pointed out that the suspensions will facilitate an independent investigation with the view of bringing to book all those who failed to act before the attack.
He says the investigating team will work with the office of Director of Public Prosecutions and will take necessary legal steps after the probe.
“This investigation is starting immediately and end as soon as possible. If they can get the evidence as soon as tomorrow, the officers will be handed over to the DPP for action to be taken,” said the CS.
He reminded the public that the 10-day amnesty issued to Al Shabaab converts was set to end on Friday and called on those who had not presented themselves to the security agencies to do so.
Nkaissery further dismissed calls for the punishing of Police Air Wing Commandant Rodgers Mbithi over alleged use of public resources for personal gain, after his daughter in-law is reported to have been ferried by the police plane saying no one had presented tangible evidence to that effect.
“What is his crime?” asked Nkaissery.
“That aircraft was on an official training mission and on its way back, it gave a lift to the family. That decision did not warrant serious accusation… if you want the blood of the commandant, it is not ready to be spilled.”
In Mbithi’s defence, Nkaissery said anyone could take a photograph on a police aircraft adding that in fact the photographs of the commandant’s daughter in-law doing rounds on social media were over a year old.