Police respond over reports of guns being secretly distributed in Rift Valley over 2022 politics

 GSU is said to have intercepted 350 guns in Nakuru

National Police Service responds to The Star's story on guns being secretly distributed to reservists in Rift Valley

The National Police Service has denied a media report that insinuated tension in the police service over alleged secret arming of reservists belonging to one community in the Rift Valley.

A local daily reported that at least 350 guns had been intercepted in Nakuru after they were secretly transported from Nairobi, for use by reservists serving in the North Rift.

The story stated that the guns were returned to Nairobi following orders by Kenya Deputy Inspector General Edward Mbugua.

It further quoted a letter purportedly authored by an officer from the Office of the President, Amos Gathecha, which warned the police against further distribution of guns to reservists.

2022 succession talk

Gathecha was said to have had the support of Mbugua and other senior officers in the security sector who were concerned that the reservists were predominantly from one community.

There was also the question of timing, having come at a time of heightened political tension in the Rift Valley caused by 2022 succession talk.

On Monday, the NPS did not dispute the claim that some guns had been intercepted from Nakuru and returned to Nairobi.

They, however, accused The Star newspaper of relying on “half truths and outright falsehoods."

The Police authority said the recruitment and arming of police reservists had nothing to do with politics and was solely meant to improve security in the Rift Valley and in the North Eastern region.

For the record, the NPS does not, and is not engaged in any secret arming of Reservists as borne in our records as well the fact that those recruited are known to the residents where they serve. So far, we have recruited 11,000 Police Reservists in operation areas in the North Rift and North Eastern regions, leading to a considerable decline in cases of banditry and cattle rustling in those areas.”

We therefore take great exception to the insinuation that recruitment of Reservists is in any way linked to politics. Additionally, as part of the ongoing reforms within the Police, we plan to raise the numbers of officers in the cattle rustling prone areas that will lead to a reduction in the need for reservists,” NPS said in a press statement. 

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