Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i has directed more police officers be deployed to Mombasa county to heighten security ahead of the fast-approaching August Polls.
The CS’s directive comes in the wake of the country receiving a major boost after the government in partnership with Britain opened the first Anti-Terrorism Police Unit Coast Regional Headquarters in Mombasa.
The headquarters were unveiled alongside a new police station to be known as the Mombasa Police Station.
During the unveiling, Matiang’i revealed intelligence reports had flagged politically-linked mobilization of gangs and other illegal groupings that could pose a security threat in the region.
“I have asked the regional security teams to raise up the level of security alertness to ensure that we facilitate effective participation in the general election,” Matiang’i said.
The outspoken CS further warned any criminal gang groups that the government is determined to ensure that peace will prevail in a region.
“We have players in two counties that may be tempted to amass small groups that could engage in crime. My simple advice to them is not to try because we’re watching closely. I’ve asked the security team to act very decisively on any individual politician who tries to do that kind of thing,” Matiang’i said.
The CS who was speaking after chairing a meeting of the Coast region security chiefs in Mombasa said additional officers and more equipment are expected on the ground beginning next week.
British High Commissioner, Jane Marriott who was also present during the opening ceremony for the Sh81 million first Anti-Terrorism Police Unit (ATPU) regional Headquarters said the war against terrorism was the key priority.
“Defeating terrorism is a key priority in the UK-Kenya security partnership and today’s opening marks a key milestone in our joint efforts,” the High Commissioner said.
Marriott said that Kenya is the UK’s premier security partner in East Africa adding the main aim of the collaboration is countering violent extremism in the region.
She pointed out that terrorism is one of the biggest threats facing both countries adding that to counter this threat the UK government is supporting Kenya with Sh1 billion every year.
The official unveiling of the facility which cost Sh81 million was presided over by the British High Commissioner to Kenya Jane Marriott and Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i.
The police station which includes a secure detention facility with separate cells and private ablution amenities for men, women, and children will provide a dedicated space for the ATPU to work on terrorism cases.
It will also allow direct access for the public to the ATPU, creating more awareness about the ATPU’s work and strengthening the unit’s relations with the local community.
The Mombasa Police Station was funded by the British government and the complex with 26 rooms will provide a dedicated space for the ATPU to work on terrorism cases.