Stung by the foray Raila Odinga is making into the bottom of the pyramid in Kenya society, and more specifically by yesterday’s surprise mammoth rally in Eastleigh, which the police did not have the opportunity to ban, armed security forces comprising regular, administration and plain clothed police have today descended in the area reportedly after having received orders from above not to relent on illegal arrests and detention of residents in Eastleigh.
Some security groups are moving around with K9s.
This operation has specifically centred around the same business vicinity of Garissa Lodge where Raila Odinga held his charged rally where the emotional residents literally begged him to lead a people’s revolt to remove Jubilee government from power. Some business people who were caught on camera complaining bitterly about Operation Usalama Watch have gone underground for fear of victimization.
Scores of GK land rovers, land cruisers and maria trucks are patrolling Garissa Lodge area from dawn today conducting arbitrary arrests targeting mostly veiled Somali women.
Some businesses have opted to stay closed while those that open have reported low business and demand for bribes from security officials.
Speaking in condition of anonymity some police officials say they fear a backlash from re-energized Somalis after today’s Friday prayers, and mosques are being watched.
Sources within police circle have told this writer that the current operation is fraught with challenges as it comes amidst the backdrop of a highly peaceful rally by the opposition.
“This whole operation is purely political. It is meant to remind the people on who is in charge. It really complicates the fight against terrorism,” said an insider who did not wish to be identified for fear of retribution.