President Uhuru Kenyatta has called for evacuation of residents in insecure parts of Lamu and vowed vengeance against insurgents behind recent killing of security officers and civilians.
The President described the insurgents as terrorists who should be greeted “with fire” and promised to “bury them” in a scathing speech that also called on local leaders and residents to support ongoing security operations.
Uhuru warned that he will not allow some residents of Lamu to be evicted from the area or be treated as “visitors” because all Kenyans are allowed to settle in any part of Kenya.
“No one is allowed to call you a visitor. There are no visitors in Kenya because anyone has a right to settle anywhere and no one will evict you,” he told residents of Mpeketoni.
Uhuru heaped praise on Governor Salim Mvurya saying Kwale has seen “accelerated progress” after he began to collaborate with Jubilee even as he hit out at governors Hassan Ali Joho of Mombasa and Amason Kingi of Kilifi.
As he spoke in Lamu and Tana River, local NASA leaders in Mombasa accused the President of waging a hate campaign against local leaders whenever he visited the region and also accused Coast Regional Coordinator Nelson Marwa of linking some Lamu leaders to the violence in the county without proof.
“We have to deal with these terror mongers. I have no apologies to make in taking the tough measures were are taking,” Uhuru declared in Mpeketoni amid reports that civilians from remote parts of Lamu that are prone to attacks are flocking to Mpeketoni.
Yesterday, Uhuru flew to Mpeketoni in Lamu West, whose adjoining areas have witnessed killing of civilians and police officers in Pandanguo and the botched kidnapping of Public Works Principal Secretary Mariam el Maawy at Milihoi.
Speaking when he toured Kizingitini and Mpeketoni in Lamu and Garsen in Tana River counties yesterday, Uhuru said the insurgency will be obliterated.
“Our citizens are losing their lives. Our security forces are losing their lives. My principal secretary was wounded here a few days ago,” the president told a rally in Kizingitini.
Uhuru said residents in insecure areas around the forests will be required to move to safer areas to enable security forces advance on militants.
“We shall not plead with them. We are capable of wiping them out and we have no apologies to make. I cannot sit and watch my officers being killed because no one has a right to take the life of another,” Uhuru said in the Gikuyu language, adding that “when you come with fire you will be met with fire, and we will bury you.”
According to the President, the attackers are from within the county and can be wiped out if residents cooperate with the authorities.
And speaking to journalists at Mombasa State House yesterday, Uhuru blasted Joho and Kingi, accusing them of working against the interests of their counties.
He claimed that the two governors have failed to develop their counties and promote commerce, industry and tourism.
“You cannot say you will improve business and tourism environment when the city is not clean, no improvement of residential areas, and one cannot even set aside land for putting up industries,” said the President in apparent reference to Joho who on Sunday described the head of state as a “tourist”.
“We have worked together with Governor Mvurya and as you can see there are a lot of infrastructural and social projects going on. We have for the first time been able to install modern medical equipment and ICU through Managed Equipment Services (MES) in Mswabweni level 5 hospital apart from road construction projects,” said Uhuru.
He said the Jubilee administration has delivered more development in Coast than any other previous regime.