The Interior Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiang’i has defended himself against condemnation resulting from the recent government crackdown on NASA Affiliates saying he is simply doing what his work dictates. Apparently, Dr Matiang’i has termed the government’s clash with the media and opposition leaders in a crackdown as intended to enforce the law and assert the authority of the government.
“There is too much lawlessness in this country and that must stop. The law is broken by people of all walks of life – including leaders that want to govern the country – and that must not be allowed. Respect for the law is something we must enforce and that is what I will try to do as the Interior Cabinet Secretary,” he said.
Speaking in an exclusive interview, just as the Inspector General of Police, the CS said the crackdown following that event will continue until all those involved face the full force of the law. “Nothing that we are doing contravenes the law and we will continue implementing that,” he said.
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Additionally the Cabinet Secretary also condemned the Judiciary over recent rulings targeted at the Executive and said the Judiciary needs to be even-handed in its criticism of the Executive. “We have complete respect for the courts and their rulings will always be obeyed as long as they are served. It is not fair to criticise the government for not obeying an order when it has not been served,” he said.
Apparently the former Education CS applauded security agencies for their conduct on January 30, when Mr Odinga was “sworn in” at Nairobi’s Uhuru Park, by withdrawing instead of confronting those attending the event that had been declared illegal. “The government pulled a fast one on the organizers. Security management is a dynamic area. Sometimes, security can be managed with tact and brains instead of brawn. I enjoy sitting down with our heads of security – very smart guys,” he said.
Matiang’i said that in the past few weeks, he has re-organised the regional administration and he is now looking at working with the police to clean up its reputation and ensure honesty and diligence in service delivery. “We need to ask ourselves whether we are getting the right people into the forces and how we can motivate them to stop seeing the service as a utility area to collect bribes and grow rich,” he said.
Although the security agencies have been criticized, over the brutal handling of opposition protests, Dr Matiang’i said their work was commendable. Additionally he defended the withdrawal of firearms issued to opposition MPs and the revoking of passports for prominent opposition figures, moves which have been challenged in court.
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According to Dr Matiang’i, the government was guided by the provisions of Public Order Act, Kenya Citizenship and Immigration Act 2011, and Firearms Act. “When I was at ICT ministry people said I was turning the clock back to the Moi days; that I was draconian. This is the most liberal and tolerant government you can think of. People are saying I have brought the ruthlessness I had at Education (ministry) to Security. But was I ruthless, really? I am just carrying out my mandate,” he said.