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Security takes sizeable share of Madaraka Day talk

02 June 2014, 10:01 William Korir

Nairobi - The prevailing state of security in the country as expected dominated talk during the Madaraka Day celebrations.

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Sunday vowed to improve security in major cities and towns to stabilize the country.

Kenyatta said his government has embarked on installing CCTV cameras in major cities and towns, as well as broadband connectivity at border points.

"Our unity is needed now than never before. Terrorists, thieves and poachers threaten our lives, our property and our national heritage. Our first defense is our men and women in the disciplined services," Kenyatta said during celebrations to mark 51 years of self-rule.

The Kenyan leader said the government has also provided at least 1,200 vehicles for police, which in time will also be equipped with CCTV cameras.

"Our initiatives are not confined to security. To manage it, as well as our immigration, and to gather data far more accurate than we have now, my government will establish a national digital register in the coming financial year," Kenyatta said.

Cases of armed robberies targeting retail outlets in Nairobi, Mombasa and in northern Kenya have escalated this year.

According to testimonies from traders and security guards, crowded streets major cities and towns are the prime target owing to their volatile nature.

The soaring crime wave in the cities and towns has also scared investors and if unchecked might reverse economic progress. Hardly a day has passed without an incident of violent robbery being reported in Nairobi and its environs.

But Kenyatta noted that nearly 8,000 young men and women have joined the disciplined services and 33 million U.S. dollars has been set aside for the recruitment of additional 10,000 police officers this year.

"They will enter a police service whose conditions of service are rapidly improving: new housing and insurance will soon be theirs, as we have already set aside 18.3 million dollars for the Police Medical Insurance Scheme.

"In return, we expect that their standards of discipline and service will rise to meet the expectations of Kenyans."

He announced government plans to establish a national digital register next financial year to gather and store accurate data on security and immigration issues.

"The resources we need have already been set aside and we can expect a full and comprehensive register of persons and property, enterprises and land. Contrary to the voices of controversy, our only aim is to unify the management of our information into a single, credible source of truth about matters of public concern," he said.

The president said national unity is needed now more than never before as "terrorists, thieves and poachers threaten our lives, our property and our national heritage."

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