Govt unveils security measures to curb cross border incursions
15 November 2013, 09:07
Nairobi - The government on Thursday announced drastic security measures at border points and all entry points across the country to curtail cross border incursions, fraud and corruption.
Cabinet Secretary in charge of internal security Joseph Ole Lenku said the government will digitize all security registries and link all border entry points through broadband to ensure that data to and from entry points can be accessed in real time.
"The next phase in technology modernization process will be the installation of CCTV cameras at all border entry points and major cities in the country," Lenku told journalists in Nairobi.
The enhanced security measures came following the September 21 attack on Westgate Shopping Mall which left at least 67 people dead and more than 200 others injured.
Al-Qaeda allied militants, Al-Shabaab, claimed responsibility for the heinous act, terming it as part of a revenge mission for cross border incursion into Somalia by Kenyan soldiers.
Lenku said the registries ranging from passports, birth certificates, national identity cards, work permits and Occurrence Books (OB), will be digitized in an ambitious exercise that will go along way in improving security.
Lenku said all border entry points in the country are now linked through broadband, which ensures that data to and from the areas can be accessed in a real-time at a central point, adding that the exercise is a continuous process especially in the area of analytics.
Lenku said enhancing security along the porous borders with some countries that had no government for many years remain the main challenge in the fight against terror.
Principal Secretary for Interior Mutea Iringo said four new border patrol bases and a specialized unit have been formed to deal with the security issue in the areas.
"Slow pace of reforms, porous borders cross cutting issues and inadequate data also pose a challenge to us as we strive to make Kenya a better place," said Iringo.
Iringo said 36 CCTV cameras have been installed by Kenya Data Network and that the National Security Data Center is complete 50 percent.
He said the government plans to retrain all stakeholders in the security ministry to enable them deal with emerging trend of crime.
The police have also admitted that despite a boost in security the threat remained, urging shopping malls to remain vigilant and to "do more" to prevent attacks.
The authorities have particularly warned against the laxity in the screening of cars for explosives at all shopping malls and any business or social gatherings with at least 10 people at any given moment that these might be vulnerable to attacks.
Kenya sent troops into Somalia to battle Al-Shabaab rebels in October 2011 after several attacks by the militants, including the kidnapping of a French woman and a British tourist and the killing of her husband, damaged its key tourism industry, which has just recovered from the 1998 bombing of the U.S. embassy in Nairobi and travel warnings from foreign governments that followed.
The country's tourism revenue grew from 53 billion Kenyan shillings (600 million U.S. dollars) in 2008 to 98 billion shillings in 2011, according to Kenyan government figures.