• The Coast Guard arrived two months ago to control rampant illegal fishing, illegal equipment, unsafe boats and restore order.
• Since their arrival, illegal fishing has sharply declined and the fish catch has risen.
The row over the presence of the Kenya Coast Guard in Lake Naivasha has deepened as county official say officers are there to stay.
Naivasha MP Jane Kihara and many MCAs have demanded the immediate withdrawal of the Coast Guard after the fatal shooting of an illegal fisherman last week.
The Coast Guard has been patrolling the lake for two months.
The killing of 24-year-old Samuel Mwangi sparked violent protests in Karagita estate. A bus carrying flower farm workers was burnt and shops and homes looted.
The Coast Guard reported that officers encountered illegal fishermen, a confrontation ensued and they tried to burn Coast Guard vessels.
Nakuru agriculture executive Immaculate Maina defended the Coast Guard's presence and said the national Executive ordered the patrols.
She said the Coast Guard arrival to control rampant illegal fishing was above board.
"MCAs have no role in the operations of the Coast guards as this falls under the mandate of the national government which has been very supportive in the programme,” she said.
CEC added that since the arrival of the security officers, illegal fishing has declined sharply and fish production has increased.
“We have seen a major decline in the number of foot-fishermen who were a threat to the fisheries sector due to the use of undersized nets and fishing in breeding grounds,” Maina said.
Naivasha deputy county commissioner Mutua Kisilu said the Coast Guard was in Lake Naivasha to stay despite increasing calls for their removal.
“We condemn the killing of the youth on Tuesday but I do not see any foreseeable chance of the government withdrawing the security officers from the lake,” he said.
MP Kihara complained that her office was not involved in the decision to deploy the Coast Guard.
She said she would seek a statement in Parliament from the Interior ministry about the killing and the Coast Guard presence.
“We are deeply perturbed by the killing of the young man and the presence of the Coast Guard and we want all those arrested during protests set free,” she said.
Lakeview MCA Simon Wanyoike termed the presence of the security officers a major threat to residents of Naivasha and the cause of current tensions.
He said the county was keen to restock the lake with fingerlings as the lake provides many jobs.
(Edited by V. Graham)