The world woke up to yet another startling; heart rending news of the Mpeketoni attack in Lamu County, Kenya. Yet the biggest blow is to us Kenyans. The citizens who live, work, and pay to keep Kenya alive. The thought of just how and why 50 armed masked men ferried in two minivans should and could release terror on innocent civilians out to live their lives like just another day even more baffling! It has happened. Served as morning breaking news in all major news channels in the world. Discussed and exhausted and initiated further dialogs. What next for Mpeketoni? What next for Kenya?
We must first of all acknowledge that this attack has come at a time when the entire country is split right in the middle over political statements and trending issues. Chief among this is the call for national dialog by the opposition under the leadership of Raila Odinga over key issues affecting Kenyans on top of which is Security. The government has over time argued that the country is not in crisis, I bet the situation is enough proof that indeed there is a crisis. The crisis that has always been there ever since the days of the Westgate Mall Attack.
On the other hand, the opposition’s key aim could be to destabilize government. How? By calling on the government to engage the opposition on the way forward to issues affecting every single citizen of the country? Or has the ego and chest thumping of the government and opposition lieutenants gone to the heads of both Uhuru and Raila?
Whereas our minds seem to converge on the wanting state of security in the country; the thoughts diverge as soon as we seek to sit down and find a way forward from the crises?
Reports from Mpeketoni indicate that despite the call for reinforcement having been made at around 9pm; it wasn’t until 1 am that the reinforcement called for actually materialized! Does Kenya even have an emergency response team and especially in the wake of the rising cases of terrorist attacks all over the Coast and Nairobi areas? Really someone must be sleeping on the job somewhere! And Uhuru definitely doesn’t need dialog to see this! He doesn’t need dialog to see that the longer it takes to roll out the Nyumba Kumi initiative the more apparent it will seem that there is an obvious lack of touch and zeal between the Jubilee leadership and it’s appointed policy enforcers.
Watching Tv this morning, I felt the pain of the residents of this ill fated area. And with this world cup craze all over, I start to feel unsafe to even walk around freely in a town I grew up and always called home. This in a country that allocates the lions share of its national budget to security and intelligence gathering! Quite preposterous!
My heart goes out to the families who lost fathers; women who lost husbands and people who lost sons; friends and colleagues.
The attack is a stark awakening that no one is safe; no place is of any less interest to these organized terror groups. And even as pundits argue for or against the Somalia invasion; the fact remains that defense is becoming alien to the local taxpayers. At least until we start pushing the right buttons and holding the right people to account.
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