“A license to a firearm is not a license to kill and the sanctity of life must prevail”, those were the words of the Chairperson of the National Guns Association of Kenya (NGAO), Anthony Wahome who made a passionate call to all firearm holders in the country.
Speaking to Capital FM News, Wahome made the clarion call in the wake of an incident in which Embakasi East MP Babu Owino is accused of shooting Felix Oringa, a DJ popularly known as Evolve, in B-Club on Friday, an episode that ignited debate on the misuse of firearm holders in the country.
Weighing in on the matter that has since led to the incarceration of the controversial lawmaker until Monday next week pending the preparation of his bail report, Wahome described the incident as “unwarranted” citing lack of imminent danger posed on Owino at the time of the shooting.
“It was quite an unfortunate incident in the sense that I did not see any imminent danger for use of a firearm. It was not present at least from what we saw in the CCTV footage from the club,” he told writer after an interview on Capital In The Morning.
When he appeared in court on Monday, Owino denied an attempted murder charge and applied to be freed on bail.
Wahome at the same time lauded the move by police to withdraw bodyguards of VIPs who are facing criminal charges.
He observed that the directive by Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai on Monday demonstrated that nobody is above the law.
“It is a step in the right direction and the message was clear that in as much as the National Police Service is charged with maintaining law and order, they cannot be the ones protecting those breaking the law,” he said.
The move by Mutyambai has since sparked an uproar, with others terming it a witch hunt only targeting leaders sympathetic to Deputy President William Ruto.
Among those whose security detail and firearm certificates have been withdrawn and confiscated respectively is Bahati MP Kimani Ngunjiri who surrendered to guns on Tuesday.
While Wahome steered clear of politicizing the whole issue of firearms, he emphasised that it was imperative for those entrusted with the responsibility of holding one to exercise restraint when using it.
“If anyone misuses a firearm they will have to answer before a court of law. It is a huge responsibility and with that there are no two ways about it. They have to know what the law says,” he said.
He encouraged firearms holders to make sound decisions before using their weapons and emphasized that brandishing of such weapons should be made when life is under threat.
Already, he said the agency and the government is working on measures to sensitize gun holders on proper handling of the guns in a bid to avert future cases where the gadgets are abused.