Kenyan Opposition Politician Wetangula Escapes Car Shooting

A car carrying Kenyan opposition Senator Moses Wetangula came under fire in the capital, Nairobi, prompting former Prime Minister Raila Odinga to call for a crackdown on rising insecurity in the East African nation.

Police are investigating last night’s attack south of the city center, spokeswoman Zipporah Mboroki, said by phone from Nairobi today. Wetangula escaped unhurt, the Nairobi-based Standard newspaper reported today, citing an interview with him.

Security threats facing Kenya include street crimes such as carjackings and muggings in urban areas, inter-clan fighting over water and pasture in the north and deadly attacks by Islamic militants from neighboring Somalia. In September, al-Shabaab rebels stormed an upscale shopping mall in Nairobi, killing at least 67 civilians and security personnel. The proliferation of small arms, income inequality and high rates of joblessness fuel criminality in Kenya, according to police.

The attack on Wetangula shows “rising insecurity that Kenyans of all walks of life are facing,” Odinga, who leads the Coalition for Reform and Democracy alliance of which Wetangula is a member, said today on his Twitter account.

Wetangula, the 57-year-old leader of the Ford Kenya party and a former foreign minister, said he believes he escaped an attempted assassination, the Standard reported. “This is an attempt on my life,” the newspaper quoted him as saying.

Wetangula this month accused authorities of embezzling as much as 400 billion Kenya shillings ($4.6 billion) from funds to build a standard-gauge railway from the port city of Mombasa, privately held KTN reported on Jan. 5. His phone was busy when Bloomberg called him four times today seeking comment.

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