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MCAs cut short Coast trip to protest Lonyangapuo’s security withdrawal

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West Pokot MCAs on Friday cut short their meeting in Mombasa and returned to their county in solidarity with Governor John Lonyangapuo.

Lonyangapuo’s security was on Friday withdrawn after he stormed a road block and released a boda boda rider from police custody.

The MCAS led by Speaker Catherine Mukenyang said Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet and Interior CS Fred Matiang’i must reinstate the Governor’s security.

Mukenyang said police officers are extorting money from innocent road users under the guise of enforcing Michuki rules.

“We respect the Michuki rules. But they must not be used to oppress our residents,” Mukenyang said.

She spoke before they left the PrideInn Paradise Beach Hotel in Mombasa where the county legislators were discussing the county’s strategic plan and county assembly standing orders.

“Governor Lonyangapuo is a Kenyan and a leader like any other Kenyan leader and must be accorded security. If we leaders are being harassed by the state for doing our work, what will the residents go through?” the Speaker said.

The MCAs said the State is endangering the Governor’s life.

Read: State withdraws Lonyangapuo’s security detail after roadblock drama

Majority Leader Thomas Ng’olesia described the action as a circus.

He said the security personnel in West Pokot county have gone against the constitution in exercising their mandate.

“We have adjourned our meeting so that we can go back to our county and take on the security personnel face-to-face.”

Ng’olesia noted that the security officers need to protect the lives and property of residents and withdrawing their services is against the Constitution.

“We have had unusually many roadblocks from Lomut to Kapenguria to Alalee which we do not see doing the work they should do,” said the Seker MCA.

The police officers have turned the roadblocks into cells where they lock motorists to their vehicles in the pretext they are manning the security, he added.

On Thursday, Lonyangapuo said there are more than 20 road blocks within a 15km radius which the police use to extort money from boda boda riders plying the route.

Minority whip Martin Komong’iro and nominated MCA Mary Mlee said police in West Pokot are exposing the county to trouble.

“We do not refuse police to do their work, but they should know our Governor was elected by majority of West Pokot residents to protect their interests. So he should be let to do his work,” he said.

The Sook MCA said a resident he represents, Aputa Ng’oriatuda, has this week alone been fined Sh18,000 for various fictitious offences.

“Where does a poor man like him get all this money to pay the police?” said Komong’iro.

“The Michuki rules have been turned into a business opportunity for the police. We don’t have faith in Boinnet anymore,” Mlee said.

Details: Irked by ‘extortionist’ cops, Lonyangapuo storms roadblock, frees boda boda rider

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