By Nep Journal Correspondent:
The county government of Mandera has been accused of using the Kenya Police Reservists (KPR) to crackdown on dissenting voices.
The accusations come days after a contingent of heavily armed police officers accompanied by KPR invaded a private property belonging to Abdirahim Gedow Hassan, elder brother to Simba Hasheem, an activist behind the #OkoaMandera initiative.
Speaking to Nepjournal in an exclusive interview, Simba said local activists have a reason to believe the county is behind the crackdown on activists who have taken issue with the manner in which county affairs were run after a series of high handed approaches were targeted at them.
“These armed men broke into every room; they even went further to unearth the septic tank in search for weapons. We all know that this is politically motivated. We know that they are behind it. They broke into his office once before” said Hasheem on the raid on his brother’s residence in Mandera.
He said Abdisalan Mohamud was arrested by ATPU on suspected terror activities because of his opposition to the administration. Mohamud is the artichet behind the petition against the county that is still before the Senate.
Another group of activists behind the #AllowNufurrow initiative had their case handed over to the National Cohesion and Integration Commission after raising storm against the County government.
“We have documented cases of KPR (mis) used by THEM to harass anyone opposed to THEM, THEIR corrupt practices, THEIR dirty deals” added Simba Hasheem.
He said his elder brother Abdirahim Gedow Hassan is a law-abiding citizen who was never arrested for a simple traffic offence.
“Tomorrow, THESE malevolent people may even go further and accuse him and many others of terrorism, of aiding and abetting terrorism, of radicalizing youth, etc” he expressed fears.
“THEY may even go a step further and plant bombs and grenades into private properties, then with malice aforethought, send the police and KPR on innocent people opposed to them” he continued.
Simba Hasheem condemned the illegal raid on his brother’s residence which came after an “informer” allegedly told the police that he has stashed weapons in his house.
Hasheem urged the national government to guarantee security of the activists whom he said were speaking for the voiceless residents of Mandera County.