Mombasa governor Hassan Joho has rejected new police guards assigned to him by the government. Early today, Coast regional commissioner showed up with five police officers at Joho’s private residence.
This is not the first time Jubilee is using the security apparatus attached to national leaders to intimidate and coerce the leader in question to ‘toe the line’.
A few months after Jubilee formed government, the government recalled all security personnel assigned to ODM Leader Raila Odinga.
David Kimaiyo was the Inspector General of the Police. Joseph Ole Lenku was the Cabinet Secretary for Interior. Both would later be sacked. For incompetence.
His long time police guard, Sergeant Francis Odhiambo Ogola was withdrawn and replaced with Sergeant Job Boronjo. Raila was informed of the changes casually through a text message.
Also withdrawn were 11 other police officers. He rejected the changes.
At that point, the government was tormenting Mr. Odinga, whom it was forcing to quit active politics using coercion.
The more things change, the more they remain the same.
Right now, Jubilee is withdrawing the security detail of governor Joho, also as an act of coercion and intimidation. Joho last week challenged President Uhuru to point the projects his regime has undertaken in Mombasa since 2013.
Joho also poured ice cold water on Uhuru’s penchant for launching trivial projects. Remember (insert hashtag) Uhuru challenge?
Uhuru is fighting back. Vengeance.
The disruptive nature of police protection holds that the person to be protected should at least have a say on who comes into their private lives. The tradition is that names of potential police guards are sent to the leaders, including their backgrounds. This more so because public authorities also have the right to privacy which all time surveillance often upsets.
The guards removed from Gov. Joho have guarded him for years, and understand his routine hence better placed to respond to abnormal situations.
This is not to say they should protect him eternally. There are times when changes are inevitable.
The borne of contention now is that the withdrawal of the guards are as malicious as the assigning of new guards to him. These actions are knee-jerk. They are being carried out by a security system acting on arbitrary, whimsical and petty manner.