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Kenyans mark Heroes' Day amid calls for security vigilance

21 October 2014, 08:14

Nairobi - President Uhuru Kenyatta led the nation in marking Mashujaa Day on Monday amid calls for strict vigilance to thwart off emerging security challenges.

The celebrations which were marked across the country saw Kenyatta demand for transparency from all institutions that mobilise resources the same way public institutions account for the use of allocated resources.

He said such accountability was necessary because it will also help the country monitor funding of activities like terrorism that undermine progress in Kenya.

"Their funding and activities must be uncovered at all times to put a stop to their campaign to kill innocent Kenyan civilians and the brave members of our security forces," he told thousands of Kenyans who turned up to mark the occasion in Nairobi.

He said such criminal networks feed on the disunity arising from local leaders whose constant negativity divides communities and causes false ethnic and religious antagonism.

Kenyatta said his government will increase measures to control incitement through legal means and urged Kenyans to remain vigilant and guard their sovereignty against all those who wish to undermine the nation.

"We will insist -- with every legal tool at my disposal -- that the use of public pulpits by all leaders, teachers, preachers and imams be lawful and focused on building national cohesion," he said.

Also read: Naivasha all set for Mashujaa Day festivities

He urged the public to embrace the Nyumba Kumi (Know your neigbour) initiative that advocates for vigilance in neighbourhoods.

"We should also play our part by denying criminals space to operate. This will be achieved by our participating in the Nyumba Kumi program," Kenyatta said, adding that since its inception, numerous plans by extremists and terrorists have been foiled with the assistance of Kenyans.

"Unfortunately, too many of our leaders are masters at shouting at one another, seeking headlines more than real development, and using every ethnic and religious difference to try and split us apart," he said.

The president also said there were a multitude of unsung heroes whose everyday efforts bring progress and unity to families, communities and the nation at large, citing the brave police officers, soldiers and civilians who risked their lives to save innocent people who were attacked by terrorists at the Westgate Shopping Mall last year.

 - Xinhua

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