Marsabit MCA surrenders to police, handed to anti-terror squad for grilling - Beaking Kenya News

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Tuesday, 9 February 2021

Marsabit MCA surrenders to police, handed to anti-terror squad for grilling


A Member of County Assembly who was wanted for claims of arms dealing has surrendered to police in Marsabit County.

Police said Sololo MCA Halkano Konsa surrendered to authorities in Marsabit Monday evening and has since been transferred to Nairobi where officers from the Anti-Terror Police Unit took over the case.

He will be questioned in Nairobi before possibly facing charges of arming bandits in the war-torn Turbi-Sololo border.

Detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations had launched a manhunt for Konsa after he went into hiding last Saturday.

This was after a team of officers on patrol recovered an AK47 rifle with ten bullets from a county government car. The MCA who was said to be in a different vehicle fled the scene.

Officials said an arrest warrant had earlier been issued against him after he went into hiding.

Konso presented himself to the Marsabit DCI offices and was interrogated for hours on his alleged role of arming locals in the conflict-hit areas of Turbi and Sololo.

The legislator, however, denied the charges.

Police said the legislator has information on alleged terror cells operating in the vast county saying he should be considered “armed and dangerous.”

“Terror cells are emerging here, and we are going to deal with them because we have intelligence and we will arrest everybody promoting war-like activities in this area,” Noah Mwavinda, the Eastern Regional Police commander said.

Four people were arrested in an operation conducted by police from the Border Patrol unit (BPU) and an AK 47 rifle with ten rounds of ammunition recovered.

Two of the passengers according to police were later identified as Marsabit County Government employees.

“BPU officers who were on targeted patrol following a tip-off from members of the local community, spotted a county government vehicle registration number 10CG016A suspected to be distributing supplies to bandits in the thickets of Funan Qumbi,” the DCI said.

The County Government of Marsabit in a statement acknowledged the incident in which one of their vehicles attached to the Department of Water, Environment and Natural resources had been impounded at the Turbi police station.

Authorities said the vehicle was being used to ferry a driver and water technician on a field assignment.

They were to repair boreholes in Bori, Badanrero and Elle Borr areas on Friday.

“We are yet to obtain information on the reasons why the vehicle and our officers were detained. We are however in communication with the Kenya police officers based in Turbi and we are seeking updates and interventions from the county security team,” the statement read.

Marsabit County Governor Mohammud Ali distanced his administration from the allegations, saying they too are demanding answers from the DCI on the real state of affairs.

Interior CS Fred Matiang’i said the government would begin a disarmament programme in the area and neighbouring counties saying the fragility of the situation has been aggravated by toxic battles for supremacy by scheming politicians.

He also took issue with the partisan approach to the conflict by leaders, who take sides in favour of their communities.

According to the CS, competition over the control of power and county resources has also been intensifying since 2013 when the implementation of devolution began.

In his presentation, he described the conflict as “a costly affair” that has led to avoidable loss of lives, displacement of local populations, malicious destruction of property, and disruption of economic activities in the county.

“Plans are underway to operationalize the recommended police stations and posts in the vast county. The officers will also be provided with adequate modern equipment, including armoured vehicles, dog units, and even drones,” the CS said.

The government also plans to delocalize police personnel born and working in the county.

Various agencies, led by the Communication Authority of Kenya (CAK) have begun monitoring social media and vernacular FM stations to check for inciting messages for further action.

Several people have in recent months been killed in the area and others displaced in inter clan clashes.

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