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Act fast to end speculation about the real motive of Sugoi attack

EDITORIAL
By The Standard | July 31st 2017

News that gunmen had laid siege to the Sugoi, Uasin Gishu County home of Deputy President William Ruto on Saturday took Kenyans by surprise. The unthinkable had happened, and not just at the residence of any leader, but the second in command of the country- his family homes are some of the most guarded.

Viewed against other audacious attacks of the same nature, the intrusion at the Deputy President's well guarded residence mirrors a terror attack. But was it? It is as true of the September 2013 Westgate Mall attack as it is true of the Garissa University attack in April 2015. In all these, gunmen took over the premises and launched attacks from inside after taking hostage the occupants. Unfortunately, a GSU officer has died and another one is critically injured.

That a lone gunman could hold out against the dreaded Recce Squad for 18 hours is the stuff of fiction, but then, it happened. The improbability of such ever happening has opened wild speculation among Kenyans, fuelled by myriad claims by the Opposition that the Jubilee Party will stop at nothing to ensure it wins next week's General Election. Indeed, even before the police had launched investigations to establish the motive behind this attack, Kenyans on social media were dismissive, expressing skepticism that the attack was stage-managed to win political sympathy. Matters were not helped by the silence from Vigilance House.

They say a lie travels faster than the truth. By offering information in dribs and drabs the police headquarters has only helped to fuel an unhealthy speculation about what really happened at Sugoi. This has the attendant risk of further polarising a country that unguarded statements from politicians on the campaign trails, has balkanised. The quick action by security personnel in securing the Deputy President's home, rather than be applauded, has been misconstrued to mean something sinister was afoot.

To assuage the fears of many and to put to rest mounting suspicion, the police must act expeditiously. Only a full disclosure from the police and investigating teams will achieve this. The sooner this is done, the better for the country. 

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