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‘Confused response’ to Westgate Mall attack exposed us to enemy

By - | Updated Wed, October 2nd 2013 at 00:00 GMT +3

With recent media reports that the US warned its citizens to rethink their travel to Kenya, and those already in Kenya to watch their movements within the country, the government and indeed all Kenyans should be worried.

Methinks the senseless criminals may capitalise on the ensuing blame game and confusion within the government and its security apparatus following the Westgate Mall attack to strike again.

Since the attack that claimed more than 60 lives, blame has been shifted from one person or authority to the other, with Parliament forming a joint committee to ‘faultfind’, a mission that security experts sees as one that could over-expose our security units even to the enemy.

For instance, Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph ole Lenku has been castigated, especially on social media, for giving controversial information concerning the situation at Westgate.

On Monday last week, Lenku told Kenyans and indeed the world that security forces had taken control of all the floors of the mall. That was at around 2pm.

However, there were reports that huge explosions and heavy gunfire were heard inside the mall past 5pm that day!

Lenku also told the mourning nation that if there were bodies still trapped in the rubble of the sections of the mall that collapsed, the number was “insignificant”. At the same time, the Red Cross said 61 people were still missing.

Contradictions

Lenku had earlier ruled out the possibility of a woman being part of the attackers but later said there were chances that a British woman, Samantha Lewthwaite, was leading the attackers at the mall. This change of mind was as a result of contradicting information given by his Foreign Affairs counterpart Amina Mohammed who claimed in a TV interview that there was a possibility a woman led the attackers.

It was even more baffling when Lenku and his Principal Secretary Mutea Iringo called parallel news conferences giving contradicting information. Iringo was at Harambee House while Lenku was at Peponi Road in Westlands.

The situation worsened when the Interior ministry started tweeting conflicting information from that of the police service and what was coming from Harambee House.

And during the operation to rescue those trapped in the mall, it emerged that KDF only received orders from their boss, General Julius Karangi, even after the President said the Inspector General of Police was in charge of the operations.

The government should put its house in order so as not to give the inhuman criminals room to plan yet another attack.

{Julius Otieno, Moi University}

 

No doubt, Somali refugees in our land have abused our hospitality by entertaining criminals who plan to kill us.

Though this would not be the best way to act, the government must make very hard and unfamiliar decision to close all the refugee camps hosting Somalis because Kenya has suffered enough as a result of this hospitality.

After all, Somalia is now peaceful and has a relatively stable government. All refugees can now go back home.

{Justin N Nkaranga, Mombasa}



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