Retired officers suspected of training proscribed separatists in Kenya

Violence in Kenya

An investigation is underway by Kenyan authorities following concerns raised over the activities of retired Police and Military Officers in Coast Province. The inquiry follows allegations that retired Security Officials are training youth members of the Mombasa Republican Council (MRC) in the use of weapons and military tactics. The MRC is an organisation proscribed by the Kenyan Government and is alleged to have close links with Somalia’s Al-Shabaab group.

The issue of former Officers training MRC members was raised by local community leader, Samson Baya, at a public meeting in Kisauni District, Coast Province. The meeting, which was attended by members of the Coast Provincial Security and Intelligence Committee, district politicians, community leaders and members of the public, was initially convened to address security fears over next years General Election.

Coast provincial commissioner, Earnest Munyi, cited Kenyan intelligence reports stating that the MRC are plotting to cause violence in next years General Election and have a policy of evicting non-indigenous (upcountry) people from the Province.

“That is why we are here today to seek your support to counter their plan and ensure the next election is conducted peacefully.They are also spreading propaganda among the people that President Jomo Kenyatta and the Prime Minster of Zanzibar had signed an agreement that led the Coast strip being part of Kenya. There is no documented evidence to their claims anywhere in this country or elsewhere”.

Previously, a military action in June 2007 saw a large group of MRC youths forced from the forest area of Coastal Province. There was speculation at the time of the action that local politicians were involved with aiding and organising the group.

Following this action, those members charged were accused of attempted robbery with the use of violence and preparing to carry out war-like undertakings for the MRC. New Security Learning has learnt that one of those who appeared in court was a retired senior Kenyan Military Officer. However the outcome of the charges against the retired Officer is not known.

The latest allegations follow a call from the head of the Kenyan Anti-Corruption Commission (KACC), Patrick Lumumba, for the Government to declare corruption a national disaster. This call followed a KACC recommendation that the Minister for Public Health and Sanitation be prosecuted for allegedly misappropriating Ksh 26Million belonging to the Constituency Development Fund. This included Ksh 1.6Million which, it is alleged, he deposited into his personal account.

While the KACC has invested heavily in ensuring that those wishing to report corruption are able to do so in confidence, Kenya’s Police Service still have a long way to go. The country does not yet have an independent Police complaints commission and the system for submitting complaints does not allow for anonymous whistle blowing. So long as the Kenyan Government cannot provide  for independent investigations into its own Police force, the possibility of monitoring former officers is extremely remote.



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