Only the president can authorize such a security drill says Kenya’s police boss

Kenya’s police Inspector General Joseph Boinnet

Kenya’s Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet has denied police involvement in the botched security drill at Strathmore University that left one person dead and 20 students injured.

Mr Boinnet said in a press statement that such a security drill could only be authorized by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

“Security drill on disaster preparedness is a very highly professional activity and must follow protocol on modalities of authorization,” Mr Boinnet said in a statement.

“Activities of this nature calling for rapid deployment and mobilization of specialized security units must only be authorized and be coordinated by the highest security office in the country,” the statement said.

The statement also urged institutions to stop undertaking such drills on their own.

“We therefore want to dissuade institutions from undertaking such drills on their own. The drills can be undertaken on disaster preparedness but high protocol of authorization must be sought. This must not happen again”

This is after it emerged that the OCPD (Officer Commanding Police Division) of Lang’ata area Elijah Mwangi sanctioned the botched security drill at the Strathmore University, Nairobi on Monday without informing his seniors.

Detectives from the Internal Affairs Unit (IAU) have launched investigations into the botched drill which caught other security agencies unaware and the military almost dispatched soldiers on standby.

One of Kenya’s leading newspapers Nation reports that Mr Mwangi was informed by Strathmore University authorities of the planned drill but he neither informed the Nairobi County commander or the Inspector-General’s office.

The Inspector General office said investigations are underway to establish the circumstances in which the exercise went wrong resulting into death and injuries.

During the drill some students jumped from upper floors of tall buildings, leading to the limb injuries.

The drill was conducted near the Student Centre where most students gather before and after classes.

Students said those involved in the exercise ‘‘carried real guns’’ and wore attire similar to those used by Al-Shabaab attackers.

The learners faulted the University for failing to inform them prior to the drill, saying they would have been better prepared and injuries would have been avoided.

Parents of the injured students also said it was wrong for the university to conduct the drill without proper preparations.

Most of the injured were rushed to the nearby Nairobi West Hospital and some to Nairobi Hospital. Two of them were placed in the Intensive Care Unit at Nairobi West Hospital.