The spectre of deaths arising from Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) set up by Al Shabaab militants in Northern Kenya in recent weeks is enough cause for worry.
On Wednesday this week, a civilian and seven police officers were killed when an IED blew up an armoured personnel carrier on which the police officers were travelling. In total, 20 security agents have died in the past two weeks.
The launch of 525 police vehicles by President Uhuru Kenyatta in January 2017, in keeping with the Government's pledge to step up security, gave rise to hope that things would change. With the armoured personnel carriers especially, it was believed security officers would enjoy some degree of safety. But alas, it has not!
Reported incidents indicate the main target of the militants are Administration Police officers. This is bound to raise questions on the quality of preparedness and the competence of the investigative arm of the police for in reality; the security agencies, the police in particular, have been reduced to a reactionary role. They do not seem to be on top of things.
It is disturbing that the officers sent to volatile areas to guarantee security are being massacred, leaving civilians at the mercy of Al Shabaab militants.
A lot has been invested in the security agencies to make the country safe, but the gains are yet to be felt. The country cannot afford to lose officers and civilians to Al Shabaab.