State's finger on pulse of Kenyans' wellbeing

The Government is fully aware and alert of the security concerns during the festive period. It is yet again another tricky time that calls for total vigilance. About three weeks I assured the country that the Government would wage an all-out war on the muggers who had attempted to overrun Nairobi and its environs with their criminal enterprise.

A week ago, I interacted with Nairobians in Tom Mboya Street, Nyama Kima, Muthurwa and Country Bus Station previously perceived as the muggers' havens. Traders assured me that the Government's swoop on the criminals had borne fruits and security had been restored. The Government will not relent in dealing with malcontents who want to bend the law to favour their evil intents. As we deal with petty criminals, we must remain alive to threats posed by terrorism within our borders. Domestic and international terror networks are a present and living nightmare that we should be vigilant about at all times.

It is the duty of every Kenyan to report any suspected case of terror whenever detected. Meanwhile, in order to keep our motherland safe, we will continue working with key partners and global allies in the fight against terror. Our security agencies are on alert with a range of counter-terrorism measures to thwart any terror attacks that could endanger the lives of our people. That is our duty as a government.

Regarding banditry specifically in the northern part of Kenya, we have repulsed many attacks that could have hurt our people. Some bandits have in recent days surrendered while others have given up arms. We have also recovered quite a good number of stolen livestock and returned them to the rightful owners. Our overarching goal is to make banditry a very painful and costly exercise to engage in if at all.

Away from criminal activities, we have learnt that a section of the people of this country are being incited by some of our perennial political agitators and sirens to engage in demonstrations aimed at besmirching the Government of the day. While we recognise that there's freedom of assembly and association including the freedom to demonstrate and picket, there is no provision in our Constitution that allows anyone to infringe on the rights of others. No Kenyan has the right to disrupt the lives of others and as a government we shall not condone misplaced acts of political scavengers out to subvert the rule of the law.

We will make all the necessary security arrangements to ensure fellow Kenyans exercise their right to associate, demonstrate, protest or to make their grievances known to the authorities. However, once we get to be given a full schedule of activities planned by the adversaries of the current administration we shall ensure that our people and their businesses are not disrupted. This we shall dutifully undertake as a government because it is the least Kenyans expect of us.

I would like to reassure Kenyans that, as a government, we would not politicize security. If we do so, we shall certainly endanger our people and expose them to needless angst. We are, therefore, not interested in the agenda that those who want to engage in vanity displays disguised as political protests and particularly so on Jamhuri Day slated on Monday the 12th of December.

For avoidance of doubt, we wish to tell Kenyans that as a government, we remain professional, focused but extremely firm and hawk-eyed on anything that smacks of law breaking. Those who want to test our resolve can poke us but they should certainly not expect a bouquet of carnations from the Government. The same way we have dealt with the muggers of the city of Nairobi is the same we shall are pursue the bandits in the north of Kenya, the same way we are committed keeping terrorists at bay.

As I sign off for now, let Kenyans know that the government will not be tolerant with Kenyan who wants to use the democratic space of our Constitution to interfere with the right and freedoms of other Kenyans.

Writer is Cabinet Secretary for Interior and Administration of National Government