JUSTICE IN THE HOUSE

Police letter will delay arrest of MPs, senators

In Summary

• The Deputy IG of Police has ordered that MPs and senators should not be arrested without first consulting him

• In September a Senate committee recommended that the Parliamentary Service Commission should manage any arrest

Deputy Inspector General of Police Edward Mbugua at Kigumo police station on Tuesday.
Deputy Inspector General of Police Edward Mbugua at Kigumo police station on Tuesday.
Image: Alice Waithera

The Regional Police Commanders in Nairobi, Rift Valley and Western have been instructed not to arrest senators or members of the National Assembly without first informing the Deputy Inspector General of Police (see P2).

The police arrested three senators in August for allegedly inciting ethnic violence. Their arrest sparked an uproar and delayed a vote on the Division of Revenue Bill.

Then in September the Senate National Security Committee protested to the Police IG Hillary Mutyambi and said the Parliamentary Service Commission should manage the arrest of any senator or MP. The letter from the Deputy IG seems to be responding to that complaint.

 

But is it right that there should be one law for the powerful and one for the weak, one for the rich and one for the poor?

Why should MPs and senators be treated with kid gloves if their behaviour is criminal?

The Deputy IG's letter means that arrests of MPs and senators will now always be delayed and more likely indefinitely postponed.

Deputy IG Edward Mbugua should withdraw his letter. MPs and senators should not receive special protection from arrest by the police.

Quote of the day: "Americans are the great Satan, the wounded snake."

Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini
He became the first Supreme Leader of Iran on December 3, 1979

Deputy IG letter to regional police commanders