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Kenyan Rights Campaigner Calls for Security Minister’s Dismissal

  • Peter Clottey

A leading member of Kenyans for Democracy and Justice, a political pressure group is calling for the dismissal of Internal Security Minister George Saitoti.

A leading member of Kenyans for Democracy and Justice, a political pressure group is calling for the dismissal of Internal Security Minister George Saitoti. Okia Omtata said the security minister’s “incompetence” could plunge Kenya into yet another chaos similar to the 2007 post-election violence.

“It looks like he is not able to appreciate the docket he occupies because in the past few days there have been major security scares in this country. Traffic police looking for other things have stumbled upon military bombs loaded on public transport…we have had so many security lapses in this country that he is not being able to explain and he needs to be held accountable,” he said.

Minister Saitoti said over the weekend that demonstrations organized by a group of Muslim youths to protest the arrest of a radical Jamaican Muslim cleric were infiltrated by the hard line Somali insurgent group, Al-Shabab.

He also said that the government will soon open an inquiry into the protests that turned violence, adding that the jailed Jamaican Muslim cleric Sheikh Abdullah al-Faisal will soon be deported.

But Omtata said the minister is not proactive.

“We are saying that Professor Saitoti is totally incompetent. He is reactive in nature…that is why we are saying that maybe the security docket requires a slightly more competent individual who can be on top of things,” Omtata said.

Kenya’s media reported that the government failed to deport Faisal after Nigeria refused to give him a transit visa to Gambia. He is being held at Nairobi’s industrial area deportation.

Omtata said Minister Saitoti seems to be inundated with the weight of his job.

“It can overwhelm you like it has overwhelmed Professor Saitoti. So, I think that the security docket needs to be given to a professional who can understand that dynamics of terrorism. Right now we seem not to have an anti-terrorism law yet we are on the frontline of the war between the Arabs and the West,” Omtata said.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Raila Odinga has ordered an investigation into the demonstrations organized by Kenyan Muslims to protest the arrest of the controversial Jamaican Muslim cleric Sheikh Abdullah al-Faisal.
The peaceful protest turned violent after the demonstrators reportedly pelted police officers with stones who in turn fired in the air and lobbed tear gas canisters.

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