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President Uhuru Kenyatta pledges to increase security cash

By ALLAN KISIA | Updated Thu, May 29th 2014 at 00:00 GMT +3
President Uhuru Kenyatta presents a trophy to the second best all-round recruit Purity Moraa (Kenya Navy) during the recruits graduation at the Recruits Training School in Eldoret, Wednesday.  [PHOTO: PSCU]

Kenya: President Uhuru Kenyatta has pledged to increase budgetary allocations to security agencies to counter the threat of terrorism.

Though he did not give any figures, the President assured that security agencies will get more money in the next financial year to effectively combat terror.

“Terrorism is a new threat, inside and outside our country. Terrorists seek to kill innocent civilians for no reason,” he stated.

Uhuru’s remarks come in the wake of a tourism crisis following terror attacks. Over 20 hotels at the coast have since closed following travel advisories and recent terror attacks, according to the Kenya Association of Hotel Keepers and Caterers (KAHC).

The Head of State Wednesday said the additional money to security agencies will go towards purchase of technological equipment and training of officers. “We want officers to have the best training in anti-terrorism tactics. We also want to improve their welfare,” he said.

Uhuru spoke in Eldoret in Uasin Gishu County at the Kenya Defence Force’s Recruits Training School during a passing-out parade.

With him were Defence Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo, Chief of Defence Forces Julius Karangi, and Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) commanders J K Kasaon (Kenya Army), J Otieno (Kenya Air Force) and N Mukala (Kenya Navy).

Over 2,700 new soldiers were successfully recruited into KDF.

The President appealed to soldiers to be committed in the fight against terrorism, within and outside the borders.

He said Kenyans are counting on KDF to protect them from terrorist attacks. “Now more than ever, the nation wants you to stand firm,” Uhuru told the new recruits.

The President exuded confidence that the country’s allies will assist in the war against terror, maintaining that terrorism is not a problem of Kenya alone but a global threat.

Recently, Uhuru announced a raft of measures, including tax-free holidays, aimed at promoting the tourism sector, which had been hardest hit by terrorism.

The President further revoked a directive by the Treasury issued early this year restricting public institutions from holding conferences and other meetings in private hotels.

He also, with effect from June 12, allowed corporate and business entities to pay vacation trip expenses for their staff on annual leave in Kenya and deduct such expenditures from their taxes.

Tourism players at the coast praised the new measures to save the industry.

Officials from KAHC and Mombasa and Coast Tourist Association said the new measures will have a significant impact if the Government implements them.

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