Kenya: Shoot-to-kill order issued against exam saboteurs
State agencies at the Coast Province say they have deployed enough security and issued shoot to kill orders for separatists trying to disrupt national examinations.
There is growing concern over administrations of exams in Kwale and Kilifi where the separatist group, Mombasa Republican Council (MRC), is very strong.
In Kwale, examiners and invigilators are reluctant to administer examinations without security guarantees in a region where an assistant chief was murdered in broad daylight by anti-government militants.
The local education office disclosed on Sunday that fewer teachers have asked to be invigilators in Kwale compared to last year.
Independent reports show no less than 1,000 security officers will be deployed in Kwale and Kilifi for the examination process.
Violent attacks, including murder of chiefs and policemen in Kilifi and Kwale, have been blamed on the MRC and this week the State intends to open fresh criminal charges against separatist leaders in custody and those at large.
Coast PPO Aggrey Adoli told The Standard that security has been beefed up in all parts of the province, but added that parents and leaders should take a leading role to ensure examinations are not disrupted because it is their children who are doing the examination.
According to Adoli, the number of police officers deployed in the province including war torn Tana Delta ‘is adequate’ and it is ‘now upon education officers to utilise them.’
In Kilifi where suspected MRC militants killed a police officer early this month and injured another on Saturday before snatching his gun, security men manning examination centres have received orders to shoot and kill any saboteurs.
County Commissioner Erastus Ekidor said the Government will not allow the MRC to disrupt national examinations.
Speaking at Bamba divisional headquarters on Sunday, Mr Ekidor who was accompanied by Ganze District Commissioner Ibrahim Diba said candidates will be accorded adequate security.
“Police officers have instructions from the Government to deal firmly with anyone tampering with the national examination,” said Ekidor, who urged chiefs and sub-chiefs not to flee the area following the murder of a sub-chief in Kombani.
Mr Ekidor presented Sh50,000 cheque from the Government to the family of the slain village elder Karisa Makumbi. Ekidor described the late Karisa as a hero.
Mr Diba, who addressed chiefs in Bamba Division, instructed them to collect the names of witchdoctors suspected to have been hired by MRC to administer oath to the youth.
Mitangani ward councillor Daniel Mangi said chiefs were playing a major role in maintaining law and order and urged the Government to retain them in the devolved system.
Taita Taveta County Commissioner Rashid Khator said the MRC threat to examinations is ‘not going to be taken lightly,’ as he announced measures to guard examination centres.
Briefing The Standard on security arrangements during KCSE and KCPE in the region on Sunday, the commissioner warned that anyone found interfering with the national exams would be dealt with decisively.
He said police chiefs and education officials in Voi, Mwatate, Wundanyi and Taveta met and laid strategies on how to peacefully manage the national examinations in the region.
“Even though we’re overstretched in security matters we will do our best to effectively manage the examinations. We’re more careful this time round and the examinations will be taken without any problem as security arrangements have already been put in place,” said Mr Khator.
In Kwale, which is the bedrock of MRC, a stakeholders meeting has been called this morning to determine the security arrangements for the exams.
Face the law
“We will meet parents, Kenya National Union of Teachers, Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) and others,” said Kwale County Commissioner Evans Achoki, who said anyone found disrupting the examination “will face the full face of the law”.
Mr Achoki told The Standard they “have taken care of all the hotspots and there is no cause for alarm”, referring to the most troubled areas where insecurity has increased following Omar Mwamnwadzi’s capture on October 15.
Kwale County Director of Education Mwatenga Juma said the ministry is putting in place measures to ensure exams go on as planned.
“We have spoken to security officers and invigilators and assured them of security. We have also put measures to cut down on exam cheating,” he said.
Mr Mackenzie Tuki, the executive secretary of Kuppet, said today’s sensitisation briefing will be good for everybody as the students can not miss the exams that they have prepared for.
By Renson Mnyamwezi, The Standard
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