Man who approached Uhuru in Lamu was holding an ID card

A middle-aged man who was Thursday arrested after he tried to force his way to President Uhuru Kenyatta while he made his speech during the official opening of the Lamu Port is expected in court on Friday.

Police identified him as James Kinyua Wamuchomba who comes from the area.

He was armed with his National Identification card and is said to have wanted to express his protests over the lack of jobs at the new port.

He told security agents he wanted to tell the president of his dissatisfaction over allocation jobs to locals.

President Kenyatta launched the new port at an event that experienced tight security over various threats including terrorism and local protests.

Kinyua who was among those invited to the event bypassed security agents but was blocked when he was just a few feet away from the president.

The president’s Ade-De-camp noticed him first and was seen moving from the president’s back as he signalled other officers.

They then grabbed him as he shouted at the president.

The president noticed him as he was few feet away from him and appeared startled by the breach as he stepped back.

He apologized saying everyone has his issues and continued with his speech as security teams grabbed Kinyua and removed him from the hall.

He was grilled for hours during which he revealed he wanted to tell the president allocation of jobs at the port was not fair.

“He was armed with his ID and we don’t think he had an ulterior motive. However, he will be charged with among others, causing a disturbance,” said a senior security official aware of the incident.

The incident happened at a time when security officers had cleared the port area to ensure that there was no congregation at the venue of the launch after local youths threatened to hold protests to push the government to give them first priority on jobs.

The event ended well before the president flew back to Mombasa on Thursday evening. Because of the security threats, the event was only witnessed by government officials, during which the president also presented a certificate to the master of the first vessel.

Kenyatta witnessed discharging of the first cargo on MV Cap Carmel at Lamu Port, signalling the beginning of the Sh310 billion port’s operations.

There were terror threats in the area following Tuesday’s incident in which Kenya Defence Forces troops were ambushed in an explosion and shot at in Baure area.

This prompted major security operation that saw contingents comb the expansive Boni Forest.

Boni Forest is an operation zone as the national government is since 2015 conducting a multi-agency security exercise dubbed Linda Boni, which is aimed chasing out Al-Shabaab militants hiding there.

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