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Minister orders arrests over private number plates

The government has directed the police to arrest owners of vehicles with unprescribed number plates, saying they were illegal and compromised national security.

Transport Cabinet Secretary Michael Kamau said on Thursday that motorists using such plates without authority were breaking the law.

“The display or use of any unauthorised number plates on any vehicle on a public road is an offence. The owner and driver of any such vehicle are committing an offence and are liable for a fine of not less than Sh500,000 or a jail term not exceeding five years or both”, the CS said in the statement sent to newsrooms.

Flamboyant politicians, business people and entertainers have developed a taste for customised number plates.

UNAUTHORISED PLATES

Among them are Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko and footballers Macdonald Mariga and Denis Oliech.

The senator has been moving around in a convoy of vehicles, flanked by a bunch of mean-looking and ill-mannered bodyguards

On Wednesday, he caused a stir at the Lee Funeral Home when he arrived in a convoy that included a car with a siren , a black Hummer filled with his security detail and a shiny golden SUV with the registration number Sonko1, Special.

The CS asked the public to notify the National Transport and Safety Authority(NTSA) of any vehicle displaying unauthorised plates.

Motorists who bore the brunt of harassment by Mr Sonko’s security detail will be watching to see whether the police will act and arrest the Senator and others using such plates.

Previously, the police have looked the other way as Mr Sonko and his convoy drive around city roads.

On Thursday, Mr Kamau said customised plates can only be used with NTSA permission.

REVOKE LICENCES

At the same time, the National Gun Owners Association of Kenya has asked the interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaiserry and the police boss to revoke the licences of holders who misuse their firearms.

The association has also called for regular vetting of all firearm owners.

The call comes in the wake of an increase in the cases of misuse of firearms in the country which boasts of about 6,000 licensed gun holders.