The Star (Nairobi)

26 July 2014

Kenya: ODM Furious Over Likoni Terror Link

Photo: CORD
Leader of the Opposition and the Orange Democratic Movement party, Raila Odinga (file photo).

ODM yesterday reacted angrily to claims by Mombasa County Commissioner Nelson Marwa that it was behind the shootings in Likoni on Wednesday that killed four people.

"Kenyans will not be fooled by this ill intentioned baboonery," ODM Secretary General Prof Anyang' Nyong'o responded in a statement. Marwa, who recently fell out with the County Governor Hassan Joho, told a press conference in Mombasa yesterday that ODM operatives are sponsoring youths in Likoni and elsewhere to cause chaos.

"When we say ODM, we do not necessarily mean the top party leadership," Marwa clarified yesterday after meeting religious leaders in Mombasa.

On Thursday, Majority Leader Aden Duale said Cord had a shared strategy with al Shabaab after it called for the withdrawal of the KDF from southern Somalia.

On June 17 President Uhuru Kenyatta said, "Politicians were involved in the planning and execution of the attacks" on Mpeketoni in which 50 people died. He dismissed al Shabaab's claims of responsibility.

Yesterday Marwa claimed two powerful individuals were paying youths Sh3,000 each to wreak havoc in Mombasa. "They are inciting with intent of causing insecurity everywhere so that the government becomes unpopular and the referendum attracts support," Marwa said.

He said the county security apparatus had uncovered a plan for youth to attack mosques in Likoni and Mombasa tp provoke retaliatory attacks by Muslims on Christians.

"We have evidence and whoever wants to challenge us should come forward," Marwa said. Marwa blamed the current wave of violence on the release of youths arrested during the raid on Masjid Musa mosque in February.

Bishop Benjamin Kalu and Sheikh Juma Ngao met Marwa yesterday and afterwards condemned the alleged plan by ODM. However ODM leaders condemned Marwa's statements as an attempt to shift the blame for the government's security failings.

"The government is sinking very low in this propaganda attempt. They have failed in their main responsibility which is to protect Kenyans and their property," Anyang' Nyong'o told the Star yesterday.

"Al Shabaab has taken responsibility for the Lamu attacks. To blame ODM for them is preposterous," he said.

"Why don't they arrest ODM leaders behind the violence since they have all the machinery to know who is planning what. This government should accept that it has failed Kenyans instead of looking scapegoats," said Nyong'o.

Government arrested Lamu Governor Issa Timamy in June over his alleged links to the Mpeketoni attacks but is yet to provide any evidence against him in court.

Mombasa Senator Hassan Omar of ODM yesterday described Marwa as a "scaremonger" who wants to instill fear in residents. "The Cord coalition has taken note of the politicization in handling of weighty security matters at all levels of government," he said.

He suspected that Marwa's remarks were "calculated" to allow the government to "persecute part of the Opposition leadership." Omar said only the Police should be responsible for security.

"Marwa is just a busybody like every other county commissioner," Omar said. Nyali MP Hezron Awiti challenged Marwa to produce evidence. "Four lives were lost in the Likoni attack. Those lives are sacred. If he knows who took them away, he should arrest them," said Awiti.

Changamwe MP Omar Mwinyi said Marwa is trying to divide the Cord family in Mombasa. "This is an indication the Jubilee administration has failed to perform its duties," he said. He said Marwa has failed to fight insecurity despite the county government donating vehicles to the police.

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