ACTION TERMED ILLEGAL

IG ordered to restore Kandara MP Wahome's security

She claimed the withdrawal was part of a plot by the government to eliminate her.

In Summary

• Judge Makau said if the IG had the powers to withdraw her security, he ought to have informed her of the charges and given her a fair hearing. 

• Makau termed the action of the IG unconstitutional and further prohibited him from withdrawing the MP's security without following proper procedure. 

Kandara MP Alice Wahome
WINNER: Kandara MP Alice Wahome
Image: FILE

It was a win for Kandara MP Alice Wahome on Thursday after the High Court directed Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai to restore her security detail without fail. 

Justice James Makau said the IG and Attorney General Kihara Kariuki cannot be allowed to selectively withdraw Wahome's security for ulterior motives. 

When Wahome filed the case early February, she claimed the withdrawal was part of a plot by the government to eliminate her. 

 
 

"The withdrawal of my security leaves me with one conclusion, that my life is in danger and the state is organising to hurt, injure or eliminate me through security agencies or goons," she said.

Through lawyer Stephen Gitonga, Wahome argued that she was never informed of the reasons for withdrawal of her security.

Judge Makau said if the IG had the powers to withdraw her security, he ought to have informed her of the charges and given her a fair hearing. 

Makau termed the action of the IG unconstitutional and further prohibited him from withdrawing the MP's security without following proper procedure. 

"The respondents cannot be allowed to selectively withdraw Wahome's security for ulterior motives contrary to criteria set, when it is clear there is an uncontroverted fact that Wahome has not been charged with any offence and she is not under any known or disclosed investigation," he said.

Mutyambai and AG Kariuki had claimed that Wahome committed an electoral offence by harassing an election officer performing his official duties, thereby causing a breach of peace.

The IG said such acts of harassment and intimidation put the police bodyguards in a precarious position as law enforcement officers and was otherwise an abuse of the privilege of bodyguards.  And after a review on Wahome's conduct, the IG said  bodyguards attached to her were withdrawn in accordance with police guidelines. 

 

But the judge said there was no evidence to the effect that she was made aware of the offence she was alleged to have breached and accorded a fair chance to defend herself.  "Wahome was not given any hearing by the IG in spite of her efforts to find out why her security has been withdrawn," he said.

Under the policy on provision of protective security to VIPs and other state officers, bodyguards can be withdrawn in respect of those who have been convicted of criminal offences or those who commit a breach of peace or those who abuse the privilege of being accorded VIP protection or a VIP who relocates to another country.

In the case of Wahome, the judge noted that she was not given any reason for withdrawal of her security and there is no evidence of Wahome having been accused of breaking any law.

Makau said the mere allegation in the IG's affidavit that Wahome committed an electoral offence by harassing an election official was not sufficient.