The President has finally spoken; well nothing much from what I had expected but all the same he has. This has consequently ended any further speculation as to whatever he had in mind; most of which was earlier stated by the Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Ole Lenku.
The message that dominated the speech was notably the insistence that the Mpeketoni Massacre was not the work of the Alshabaab; rather, the art and design of local political masterminds. This, I believe having taken the President almost 48 hours to admit, is the accurate record from the intelligence mechanisms at his disposal. The question is as to whether the information was credible enough.
In the course of the day that dawned following the attacks, I happened to have a chat with a foreign journalist who specializes in patterns of organized religious based attacks of a terrorist nature. While deliberating on the Mpeketoni occurrences our thoughts seemed to converge at the same point; these attacks had everything to do with the land and the occupants of Mpeketoni area. That was before the statement from the Alshabaab claiming responsibility for these heinous acts. Even then, we couldn’t help but wonder.
The constant attacks at the coastal region is a projection of a lot of other underlying issues that have not been sought after and addressed with the comprehension they deserve. The political statements by leaders condemning these act of atrocities may be anything but appearances aimed at deceiving the greater public and shifting blame to others elsewhere. Unless these leaders take it upon themselves to hold constant forums and discourses with the locals at the coast to uproot these growing seeds of religious hatred and intolerance then nothing much that we result to will matter.
We have seen for ourselves the tribulations that Boko Haram have cast on the people of Nigeria. It is time we had a counter narrative against the calls for radicalization and incitements to violence. It is time we learnt from the lessons of the 2007/08 general elections and put our house in order. There is no smoke without fire and therefore, it is time for the CORD coalition to rethink its strategy in light of the gaping shortfalls of our security agencies.
I recognize that our constitution gives us the rights and freedoms to assembly and most of all that of expression. These freedoms however come with responsibility. It is therefore the mandate of every single leader to not only call for the beefing up of security but to likewise desist from any forms of actions that may compromise the security of our great nation.
The Country is at war; a war paid for by Kenyans and run by the government on behalf of every single Kenyan. When we do not score in Somalia, it is Kenya which stands to lose. Not Uhuru, Ruto, Raila or Kalonzo but all Kenyans.
The Uniformed forces too have a role to play; the role should be played. The apparent laxity that has been informed of them by their lack of enthusiasm in undertaking their roles as was envisaged in Mpeketoni for the past two evenings poke a lot of questions that need to be answered. We need to have confidence in our army personnel. The same confidence that Somalia has felt in them and that which has seen them earn praises beyond the tag of career soldiers.
It is time too for the government officials under whose watch Kenyans continue to suffer; to be held to account. Kenyans deserve that.
Finally, as the government commits to ensure a decent send off to the departed souls; they too should undertake to persecute the so called ‘politicians’ who oversee the butchering of innocent civilians in the pursuit of selfish agenda. The matter should not be shelved under the carpet and forgotten with the hope that tomorrow will be better. Either that or government will seem to have shown no difference in propagating rhetoric in perpetuation of a trend that embraces blame game instead of offering solutions to the problems bedeviling Kenyans.