Social Media reaction on Deputy CJ Nancy Baraza gun drama
A security guard searching clients entering the Village Market shopping mall in Nairobi has lodged a complaint with police over the behaviour of the Deputy Chief Justice Nancy Baraza. Security guard Rebecca Kerubo Morara claims she was intimidated with a pistol by Baraza when she sought to frisk her on New Year’s Eve. Baraza accepts there was a dispute but denies threatening the guard with a gun. Morara recorded a statement at Gigiri Police Station in the Occurrence Book reference OB 14/1/1/2012.
According to the report, Baraza drove into the shopping mall after 5pm and parked her car about 50 metres from the point where shoppers are frisked before entering the mall. She then walked past the desk clearly marked Security Check where other customers were queueing.
The police are reviewing CCTV footage of the incident. On the footage a female guard follows Baraza into the mall and speaks to her before she enters a pharmacy about 30 metres from the entrance. Thirty minutes later Baraza reportedly walks back to the security desk where she pauses briefly before walking back to her car. She comes back holding “something” in her hand and is seen confronting the female guard who goes on her knees at around 6.18pm on the CCTV.
Yesterday, Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere said he was aware of the incident and had instructed his officers to investigate. “I cannot give any more details as the officers are yet to brief me,” he said. Yesterday, the Deputy CJ denied drawing a gun but described the incident as “unfortunate”. “I walked into the chemist in a hurry and I did not realise that this lady was conducting security checks. But instead of talking to me with a little courtesy, she was shouting insults at me even as I tried to calm her down. I explained to her that I was a law-abiding citizen but with armed security detail. I said that if she continued to shout at me, my security detail would intervene and indeed my security intervened. My security had a gun and no one flashed or pointed a gun at her,” Baraza said.
“This was a very unfortunate incident and maybe I should have just stuck to my usual security arrangements which demand that I never walk alone. But you know we are all human and sometimes you just want to be ordinary. I have shopped in that chemist for many years,” Baraza said. “I was not defying the security arrangements put in place at that place but the lady could not listen to me and was instead shouting and embarrassing me. The allegation that I pinched her nose is wrong. I only touched her face as she tried to grab me,” explained Baraza.
Shopping malls and commercial buildings in Nairobi tightened up their security checks last year after al Shabaab threatened revenge attacks for the KDF incursion into southern Somalia. The initial report indicated that the female guard was manning the Village Market entrance with her male colleague when the Deputy CJ and her bodyguard drove in. The female guard was frisking customers when a woman walked quickly past the queue. The guard requested that the woman complies with the search and claimed that she did not recognise Baraza.
According to Morara’s statement, the Deputy CJ pinched her nose and told her to “know people” before she walked past her to the pharmacy. On her way back, the Deputy CJ warned that she could order her bodyguard to shoot Morara. Morara claims that Baraza then went to her car and came back brandishing a pistol. She says that she (Morara) went on her knees pleading for her life.
The shaken guard reported the incident to her supervisor after Baraza left. She then reported to Gigiri Police station and was summoned back on Monday afternoon. Gigiri OCS Hassan Bwego yesterday spent the day at Village Market with security officers watching the CCTV footage. He was joined in the afternoon by the OCPD Josek Nasio.
Morara told the Star, “I was frisking customers who were queueing when I noticed a woman walk past without being searched. I followed her to request that she comply with the mandatory search. I did not recognise her and pleaded with her telling her it was mandatory that all clients are searched because of the security situation. She pinched my nose hard and told me to know people and then walked into the pharmacy.” Morara said the woman later informed her she was the Deputy Chief Justice.
Morara added, “The lady walked to her car and came back brandishing a pistol threatening to kill me. I went on my knees and pleaded with her to spare my life. I was very scared because my father was shot dead in a similar situation. I don’t think I want to work as a guard after that experience”.