The Firearms Licencing Board has defended the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) George Kinoti against jail term for failing to return guns owned by businessman Jimi Wanjigi.
In a letter to Wanjigi, the Board accused Wanjigi of targeting the National Police Service instead of the Firearms Licencing Board, which handles matters to do with civilian arms.
“Further, it has come to our attention that you have been litigating and enforcing court orders against the wrong parties whilst the right party is this Board as per the Firearms Act Chapter 114 of the Laws of Kenya. From now henceforth, kindly consider dealing with the Board directly for any assistance and not the National Police Service,” added the letter.
Kinoti was on November 18 handed a four-month jail sentence for disobeying a court order requiring him to return the guns to Wanjigi.
The Board has further directed Wanjigi to appear before it for mandatory vetting, in line with a directive issued in 2018 by Interior CS Fred Matiang’i.
In the 2018 directive, only the police officers under the National Police Service (NPS), the military personnel under the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF), and officers working under the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and members of other security agencies were exempted from vetting.
“In view of the foregoing, your client is directed to appear before the Board for mandatory vetting pursuant to the directive by the Cabinet Secretary Interior to all civilian firearm certificate holders to undergo the exercise and subsequent renewal of the Firearm Certificate. The directive is dated 5th December 2018 and all civilian firearm holders have undergone the same and in regard thereto, do avail letter of grant, disposal forms for all firearms, the certificate and such past correspondences with the Board,” added the letter.
In the 2018 directive, the government announced that prohibited firearms range from automatic/semi-automatic self-loading military assault rifles to guns that fall outside the functioning cycle described in the Firearms Act. They include G3, AK47, M16 rifle, Uzi, Sterling-Patchett MK5, CZ Scorpion Evo 3, and MP5 among others.
In a 2017 raid by the police, Wanjigi was found to be in possession of Smith and Wesson pistol, a Glock Pistol, a Mini Acher, and M4CQ, which are prohibited to be sold, possessed or dealt with in any manner by civilians.