The Star (Nairobi)

7 July 2012

Kenya: Police to Guard Kisumu Churches During Mass

Photo: Capital FM
Police (file photo).

Two police officers will man each church in Kisumu East to stop any terror attacks. The churches will however have to buy metal detectors to screen all worshippers before the Sunday mass. The district's top security team yesterday announced they will assign the officers to guard all churches especially during the Sunday services.

The officers will include AP and regular police, according to the district security chairman. Willy Cheboi said they had reached the decision after a meeting with clerics and the business community. The security team was represented by Cheboi - also the Kisumu East DC - deputy police chief Muthuri Mwongera and AP commander Elisha Cherono.

Cheboi disclosed they have asked the churches and the businesspeople in the district to buy metal detectors to screen all worshippers and customers. "We also want the churches to sensitise and educate members on security matters so that they stay alert and report all suspicious characters," said Cheboi.

During the Thursday meeting between the clerics and the security team in Kisumu, the bishops raised concerns about the security situation in the area and that of their congregations. Bishop Mark Kegoti of the Redeemed Gospel Church said there is need for a special anti-terror force in Kisumu East.

Bishop Kegoti further urged the government to equip the police. The police have less than five patrol cars, according to the bishop. "We also want the media to offer education on security matters and police to bolster security in marketplaces, schools and all places of public gathering like crusades," he said. Speaking earlier, Nyanza PC Francis Mutie promised that the state will boost security in the province.

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