ODM Says Kisii Governor Arati’s Life In Danger, Want ‘Immediate Transfer’ Of Area Police Boss

Written by on 12 January 2024

The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) has called for the immediate transfer of Kisii County Police Commander Charles Kasses in response to a recent outbreak of violence at events organised and attended by Kisii Governor Simba Arati, further asserting that the county boss’ life is in danger.

Addressing journalists in Kisii on Friday, ODM Secretary General Edwin Sifuna intimated that Mr Kasses and officers under his command reportedly turned a blind eye to the violence that erupted at two separate events organised by Arati on January 6 and January 8, 2024.

During the January 6 incident, Sifuna went on, Arati was attending a funeral in South Mugirango when individuals with alleged ties to South Mugirango MP Sylvanus Osoro, disrupted the event, openly firing arrows at mourners, despite the presence of police.

Sifuna says that the incident was reported at Nyamarambe police station but none of the known culprits have since been arrested.

Just two days later, Sifuna continued, Arati was distributing bursary forms in Nyakembene, South Mugirango, when armed individuals disrupted the event.

“The ODM party expresses serious concern about the life and safety of its National Vice-Chair and Kisii Governor Simba Arati following repeated violent attacks perpetrated by known persons in broad daylight with what appears to be tacit support and collaboration with elements in the security forces,” said the Nairobi Senator.

Sifuna further asserted that four of the so-called goons acting on Osoro’s orders were members of the National Police Service.

“It turned out that those gunmen were police officers. One of the officers captured firing at the crowd with an AK47 rifle was identified as one Kevin Lagat of Force Number 26085, he is a police constable attached to Osoro,” he added.

“Others are Simon Muriithi of force number 119319 and Peter Muge of force number 239197, all stationed at Nyanchwa Police Station. One officer, Morris Kiambi, is believed to have been ferried from his station of duty in Lang’ata, Nairobi to participate in the attacks. It is suspected that Lagat has been transferred to Parliament Police Station since that incident.”

While condemning Interior CS Kithure Kindiki and Japhet Koome for failing to address the attacks, Sifuna further asserted that police are allegedly planning a raid on Arati’s residence, claiming it is under the pretext of searching for illegal firearms.

“We take this opportunity to condemn the actions of Osoro and the police and demand that the Police IG immediately transfer the Kisii County Commander and that action must be taken against the officers identified in the attacks. They should be interdicted as they await their date with justice,” said Sifuna.

“Osoro should be asked to report a statement with the police if he has become too powerful to be arrested. IPOA also must commence investigations into the abuse of police power in Kisii County.”

Sifuna emphasized that ODM’s demands must be fulfilled within a two-week timeframe; otherwise, the party will explore alternative avenues to address the incidents.

“Should any harm come to our party’s National Vice Chair and Governor of Kisii Simba Arati, as a result of any subsequent attack against him, the persons named here including Osoro, Police Commander Charles Kasses and the IG of Police will be held personally responsible,” he said. 

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