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The President needs a system overhaul

03 October 2013, 13:45 Mubweka Paul

After the infamous Westgate attack, it is clear that the President needs to restructure his command centre and power table. The President has emerged from one of the most shocking attacks on Kenyan soil and the dust is yet to settle for him to comprehend all that happened and how it actually took place.

Numerous reports are emerging to the shock of Kenyans alike. To start with, the number of casualties is reported at 67 but the actual number is yet to be confirmed since the supposed ‘hostages’ have not been seen.

Alongside the unconfirmed number of dead victims, there is the questionable fire that erupted at the Nakumatt store. It has not yet been communicated to the public what exactly ignited the fire and why it was not contained to avoid damages in excess of millions.

The looting that took place at the mall was of unprecedented amounts. It is alleged that security forces who stormed the building to salvage civilians and quash the terror gang went about looting from the lucrative stores located on the first, second and third floors.

As if not enough, there was confusion that ensued during the rescue operation within the mall. When the Kenya Defence Forces arrived at the scene, they found the police already in charge of the whole operation. The commander of the operation was named by the President as being the Inspector General of police, David Kimaiyo. Nevertheless, the military upon arrival, wanted to hear none of that and quickly started commanding the elite paramilitary police unit better known as Recce squad to secede authority over the operation.

The power struggle that ensued between the police and military personnel created a vacuum which the terrorists utilised to regroup themselves and launch a better coordinated attack. This regrouping by the terror gang came shortly after they had already been cornered by the Recce squad.

Taking a look at the Cabinet Secretary for Interior, the former beverages manager at Utalii hotel had little knowledge on how the whole melee occurred and the best possible way to solve it. He arrived at the scene a shocked man and unable to digest the magnitude of the events.

Time and again, Ole Lenku kept giving contradictory statements and to some extent was even being briefed on what to say when he was almost going live on air. The manner in which he handled the whole situation left a lot to be desired.

Looking at the intelligence community, there was some lapse for all the chaos to have been successfully orchestrated. Someone somewhere slept on his job and failed to take the duty of care in handling of intelligence from relevant authorities.

Arrests should have been made the very day reports started streaming in about probable attacks and possible presence of Al  Shabaab militants within Kenya’s boarders.

For a country to lose over 60 civilians due to an attack that could have been sabotaged is unforgivable. People who head the relevant intelligence agencies ought to have provided information and clearly indicate that the urgency required to deal with the threats was paramount.

President Kenyatta, having witnessed all these chaotic scenes and events unfold before his eyes, ought to take stringent measures in dealing with his close confidants. His administration is barely a year in office and the amount of tragedies incurred is preposterous. However, none can equal the infamous Westgate mall attack that has left scores injured and multiples dead.

It is more than clear that the President needs to do some system overhaul to tighten the lose ends within his administration. He needs a change of guard in a number of positions to strengthen his grip on national security and order. 

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

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