Exclusive: How security forces abandoned Garissa university students

01 May 2015 | by
Exclusive: How security forces abandoned Garissa  university students

A report of the court of inquiry to inquire into the Garissa University college attack by Al Shabaab killing one hundred and forty seven people has recommended for harmonisation of command structures with an appointed with overall control of all security personnel.....

A report of the court of inquiry to inquire into the Garissa University college attack by Al Shabaab killing one hundred and forty seven people has recommended for harmonisation of command structures with an appointed with overall control of all security personnel.

The report, however, reveals that in the confidential meetings with KDF, NIS, County commissioner , Regional Commissioner, the inquiry team received persistent reports of rampant corruption against CID and ATPU officers.  Interior cabinet secretary Joseph Nkaissery while answering questions before the Security Committee in Parliament over the Garissa attack probe said that security officers ignored intelligence prior to attack.He admitted that response was poorly coordinated, the hostels in GUC are like cells making it hard for students to jump out and escape but revealed that All students in Garissa University were accounted for.

The inquiry also wants the Recce squad to be deployed to Garissa to avoid the need of having to fly them to from Nairobi whenever an emergency occurs.The report also recommends for strict supervision , command and control including annual inspections of stations to install order  and address laxity.It has also recommended that Assistant Inspector General Christopher Muthee be served with a warning letter for lying to the court of inquire while OCPD Benjamin Ongombe should be served with a show cause letter why disciplinary action should not be taken against him for withdrawing a machine without consulting the sub county security committee.

The Director of Criminal Investigations has also been orders to investigate the North Eastern region CID boss Musa Yego, the Anti Terrorism Police Unit boss Nicholas Mutuku Kimanzi on allegations of corruption.It also recommends National Police Service to address personnel deficit by increasing numbers numbers especially of youthful officers but consider number of years served and tribal balance.The team has recommended that arrangements be made to fuel all government leased vehicles  even if it means  Total Kenya sub contracting other petrol stations. Fuel allocations any  in North Eastern  should also be increased to meet security operations.

Police officers should also be provided with sufficient body armor to all police officers in North Eastern. The officers deployed to North Eastern will also be trained with relevant tactical in paramilitary training. All  security agencies should be provided with adequate police communication handsets synchronised to the same channel  during operations and a standby aircraft should be stationed in Garissa for any emergency.The Inquiry has also recommended  for the need of the police and KDF to work together  and constant interaction between the commanders for them to understand diverse and distinct roles they each play.

The report drafted by senior police officers including Leo Nyongesa IJora, Lillian Kiamba, Humphrey Wanzala, Lazarus Opicho and Kamlus Odhiambo reveals that's here was prior knowledge of the terrorists attack during the Easter holidays on key government institutions, churches and educational institutions including Garissa University College.The targets were mainly non Muslims as discussed by the County Intelligence and Security Committee which recommended the erecting of roadblocks  manned by KDF.

Unfortunately all senior commanders  were not within the county when the attack happened.Security at the Garissa University college was doubled from two to four who engaged the attackers on the morning of the attack.The attack had planned to coincide with the Muslim prayer time when worshipped from outside frequent the compound immediately on entry into the campus compound.

Although there was good response by the police officers during the initial stages of the attack  there was no coordination and planning  with respective service commanders  involved in the rescue operation.

Unfortunately officers communicated using mobile phones  until about 10:am when police radios were finally provided. The officers deployed to respond did not however have adequate paramilitary training which was especially true of Kenya Police Service .The officers deployed to the university did not have any body armour and serious  personnel gaps were exposed  in all National Police Service agencies.

There was also strained relationship between police and KDF due to different mandates and operating procedures leading to turf wars, competition and or conflict between the two agencies.

The team recommended the transfer of North Eastern Regional Police Coordinator Commissioner Peter Mwania, Assistant Inspector General  Muthee, Garissa OCPD Benjamin Ong'ombe, Garissa ATPU boss Nicholas Mutuku Kimanzi, OCS James Rasugu to non operational area and deputy OCS Charles Ayaro.

The Recce team and four officers were recommended to be awarded for bravery four responding to the attack.The four officers include administration police constables Nicholas Mutai and Hassan Kuli Hassan and Kenya Kenya Police service police constables Wycliffe Chepkonga and  Reuben .

Two other administration police officers including sergeant Mohammed Juma and constable John Musa Naftali were injured and hospitalised.The report also recommends that the two officers who died while on duty should be post hum lushly rewarded.

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