Security needs an overhaul
20 June 2014, 15:16
Among the most important organs of a nation is the security organ. Every nation considers its sovereignty as highly valuable and therefore freedoms of its citizens come first at whatever cost.
Kenya has of late been under continual attacks from suspected al-shabaab operatives. This spate of terror attacks have sent shivers down the spines of investors especially of foreign origin. In addition, tourists have been reluctant to tour the coastal regions and some parts of Nairobi due to the travel advisories issued by various countries and the withdrawal of travel insurance by major travel agencies abroad.
Since September 21, 2013 when the Westgate mall fell to the hands of al-shabab terrorists, grenade attacks have been endless. Consequently, deaths have been numerous and injuries suffered are more than can be counted. Damage to property and loss of other valuables has been on an all time high ever since.
One would expect the government to act swiftly to deal with this rising insecurity but it is a shock to many Kenyans that things still remain the same. Numerous statements have been read by government officials time and again in a bid to reassure Kenyans of improved security status but little has been done to realize this much desired objective. Insecurity is no longer breaking news in Kenya owing to the recent attacks launched in Mpeketoni; a town located 30 miles south west of Lamu.
With the death toll standing at 48 people, the damage caused seems to almost match the Westgate attack that saw close to 70 people killed. According to security reports, about 50 attackers stormed the small town of Mpeketoni and started firing at men indiscriminately while torching houses and commercial buildings. The militant attackers even had the nerve to launch an assault on government property and burn state owned vehicles and offices. Security forces responded slowly as it is said that there was a gun battle that lasted between four and seven hours.
Cabinet Secretary Joseph Lenku appeared before the nation and read a statement in which he seemed to be without a clue of who carried out the attack and the motive. He was also not in touch with the magnitude of the damage. The cabinet secretary basically read a statement. I am yet to establish if all the government thinks is a statement can handle the mess caused by terror cells within the country. Questions need to be asked internally.
Among some of the questions that need answers include the following. How is intelligence gathered? Who handles intelligence in the nation, both foreign and internal? What measures are put in place to secure our boarders? What is the security strategic plan for the nation owing to the fact that we are deep in Somalia fighting the terror group that keeps rattling our feathers? Who is responsible for security failures and lapses like the ones witnessed in Mpeketoni?
Answers are needed for these questions and citizens have a right to know the truth. It is not only important to have these questions answered but as a democratic nation that embraces the idea of professional excellence and leadership performance, it is imperative to have security officials either sacked or transferred to other departments.
This is key because already their efforts have seen more than 200 people die in a year or so through major security lapses.
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