Lamu, KENYA: Lamu County Commissioner Joseph Kanyiri has ordered a crackdown on all passenger vehicles plying the Lamu-Mombasa road that take off without the much needed armed police escort.
The commissioner said he was aware that some vehicles especially the newly introduced shuttles were leaving with passengers as early as 5am from and to Lamu without police escort.
Kanyiri said the shuttles weren’t also undergoing due police checks and said such actions were dangerous.
Speaking in Lamu on Thursday,Kanyiri said those drivers choosing to leave and come without armed police escort and refusing to undergo police checks by leaving too early wer endangering the lives of the passengers.
He also added that they endanger the security of the entire county since without checks, it will be easy to bring in people with ulterior motives without the police noticing.
He said police had been ordered to intercept such vehicles and have the drivers charged for contempt of law and deliberately endangering lives.
He said security was everyone’s mandate and urged travelers to only choose vehicles that have police escort.
“If you want to travel,make sure you only board vehicles that have police escort. Dont be in a hurry to travel because you might live to regret it.Better be slow but sure,” he said.
The commissioner however assured of security and said police patrols have been intensified on the route.
He also called for vigilance and asked locals and travelers to report any suspicious persons or activity on the route to the police.
The decision for armed police escorts for passenger vehicles travelling in and out of Lamu was informed by Interior CS Joseph Nkaissery following increased attacks and attempts on the buses by Al-Shabaab militants that left several people dead between 2014 and 2015.
All buses leaving and coming into the county are to be accompanied by several armed police officers up to a certain location believed not to be vulnerable from where they are left to complete the journey.
There has however been a recent crop up of shuttle Nissans that offer travel at reduced fares and also due to their fast speeds, allow one to reach their destinations earlier than those using the buses.
The crackdown comes just days after a group of over 100 suspected Alshabaab militants were spotted at Milihoi area.