, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 14- Three suspected drug barons have been arrested in Mombasa in the ongoing operation to dismantle the cartel behind the menace in the coastal city.
Coast Regional Coordinator Nelson Marwa says two guns were recovered from one suspect following a security operation conducted on Friday.
Marwa has accused Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho of interfering with investigations after he led supporters and two area legislators to the Regional Police Headquarters to demand the release of a suspect who was in custody.
“The suspect was arrested and brought to the station for interrogation but why the Governor mobilized the leaders to come and block the process of interrogation, the Government does not understand,” Marwa said of the suspect identified as Ibrahim Katiar who had been picked up from his residence in Nyali.
The suspect was later freed on a Sh20,000 bond after a stand-off that almost degenerated into chaos as Joho’s supporters chanted anti-government slogans outside, saying “No Joho No peace and Marwa Must Go.”
At the time, Joho had claimed that he was detained by police alongside MPs accompanying him, allegations quickly dismissed by Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet who clarified that the leaders were “camping at the station to demand the release of the suspect but they were not under arrest.”
On Saturday, Marwa told a news conference in Mombasa that the Governor had incited his supporters in a move aimed at intimidating police officers carrying out the operation.
“They sent messages out there insinuating he had been arrested which is not adding up. That was meant to incite Kenyans and to provoke tension so that he gets political mileage. That was not right for a leader,” the county administrator said.
In a Facebook post, Joho insisted he was arrested but did not explain why.
“We firmly stood by our rights and questioned the illegal and frivolous charges under which we were placed under arrest,” reads a section of the post, “Later on, we were released by the PCIO after he apologized and claimed the arresting officer acted independently and received no such orders to arrest us. We will not relent in the fight for justice of our people nor deviate from the cause.”
Photos of the Governor sitting inside the police station alongside one of the Mombasa MPs went viral on social media soon after the claims of their arrests.