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Why MPs want Governor Kabogo grilled over ‘private army’

A parliamentary committee has resolved to summon Kiambu Governor William Kabogo over claims that he has sponsored a private militia and influenced police in his county to intimidate and harass MPs.

The MPs said Governor Kabogo — together with the various heads of security agencies — should appear before the Administration and National Security Committee to respond to allegations made by leaders and wananchi from Kiambu.


The allegations were sent to the National Assembly through a petition presented by Kikuyu MP Kimani Ichung’wa, who is among politicians from the county at loggerheads with the governor.

MPs in the committee warned about the possibility politically-instigated violence in the run-up to the General Election next year and partly blamed governors.

With governors having more money at their disposal than the police, they said, this has given the county bosses influence over security agencies, which in some cases often lack money for basic items such as fuel for their vehicles.

This, the MPs said, has been noted in Kiambu, Murang’a, Turkana, Mombasa and Malindi.

Mr Kimani highlighted various incidents during which, he said, armed militias backed by police and Kiambu County government employees, clashed with MPs and their supporters.

He asked the committee to expand its investigations to other parts of the country such as the Coast, where he alleged militia involvement during the Malindi by-election.


“My worry is that in the run-up to elections, if you allow impunity to reign, the 2007 and 2008 violence will look like a children’s dance,” he warned.

He also asked the committee to summon Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery and the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Joseph Boinnet, to tell them how many Kiambu County government workers were armed.

“The militia is not just backed by the governor. It is managed and funded by the county government and the governor himself,” he alleged.

According to him, Mr Boinnet appears to have lost control of the Administration Policemen who work in Kiambu.

Mr Ichung’wa was backed by Lagdera MP Mohammed Shidiye, who said he had seen governors involved in violence in Malindi, which involved some armed county government employees.

“There’ll be no election in 2017 if we continue like this,” said Mr Shidiye. “What he (Mr Ichung’wa) said is just at the surface. There are deeper issues.”


Lari MP Mburu Kahangara said that in Kiambu, the rise militias had resulted in the re-emergence of Mungiki.

Kandara MP Alice Wahome said there has been a similar case in Murang’a, where militias accompanied Governor Mwangi wa Iria and gate-crashed an event that the Deputy President was scheduled to attend.

MPs Francis Mwangangi (Yatta, Muungano), Protus Akuja (Loima, ODM) and Grace Kiptui (Baringo Woman Rep, URP) also backed the proposal to have the top security heads meet the committee.

Ababu Namwamba (Budalang’i, ODM), a member of the committee, said everybody named by Mr Ichung’wa would need to respond to the allegations.

“We have the constitutional mandate to summon here Governor Kabogo and everybody else who has been mentioned here,” he said, referring to the provision in the Constitution that gives Parliamentary committee powers of the High Court to call for evidence and summon witnesses.

He said the issue of militias and misuse of guns had arisen in the House before.

“If we’re saying that we have allowed governors to become little tin gods, creating 47 centres of violence, it is a serious indictment of the national government,” he said.