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Are we staring at the beginning of a rogue military?

OPINION
By - John Gerezani | November 24th 2012

By John Gerezani

As  I listened to the Internal Security minister Katoo ole Metito aver that the current state of insecurity in the country had political DNA, I exchanged a knowing smile with my colleague sitting across the table.

But when Lugari Member of Parliament Cyrus Jirongo came up with his various hypotheses as to what was happening in our security docket, I almost shouted “Eureka!” for those are the very same factors which l had written about sometime back.  The pattern of grenade attacks has become too predictable and I am alive to the fact that suspects are normally named and blame apportioned to the Al Shabaab even before any investigation has been carried out.

It has never been suggested that there could be agent provocateurs behind the incidences even though the amateurish strikes prove just that. Al Shabaab is a reprehensible and rudderless outfit but it is also as proud and as boisterous as any terrorist organisation.

If it wanted to inflict damage to our military, it would use car bombs or suicide bombers and not the cowardly act witnessed in Garissa the other day. I would ordinarily expect its vibrant propaganda unit to post any news on hits against the enemy on its social media sites but the dearth of such information only bolsters Mr Jirongo’s assertion that all these alleged “terrorist” acts are in fact locally instigated to achieve a pre-determined objective.

I therefore read a conspiracy theory when politicians talk of plots to push forward the election dates from March to August 2013 yet they are the very same lot being fingered by Mr Metito as being behind the wave of insecurity in the country! I want to tell our politicians that they cannot fool Kenyans anymore. It is a constitutional fact that elections or the Parliament term cannot be pushed forward unless there is war in the country so it can only be in  serving politicians’ selfish interest that war and anarchy is fomented in the run up to March.

Some knee-jerk decisions made in the recent past, grand corruption and the subservience of the police to politicians and big business has led the country down the drain. It is an open secret that shadowy characters hold great sway in the police department to an extent that as a country we are still being accused of harbouring Rwanda genocide fugitive Felicien Kabuga. Kenyans must rise up and take control of their destiny.

Security of one’s country is both an individual as well as collective national responsibility. It is not a tribal, partisan ego trip. Indifference is what led to loss of millions of lives in the Holocaust. The stakes are rising by the day and the sooner we all decided to stand on the side of truth, the better. We might have to ruffle a few feathers along the way but naming and shaming witches and wizards in public is a time honoured and tested strategy of putting a lid on callous behaviour.

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So have our hitherto disciplined armed forces also lost it? Just when they were earning international plaudits for the manner in which they have generally behaved in Somali, they turn against and terrorise their own countrymen, burn down an entire market where peasant women earn their livelihood and destroy businesses because three of their colleagues had been killed by yet to be identified gunmen. Neither the minister in charge of the military or his Internal Security counterpart knows who gave the orders for the forces to move out of the barracks.

After a two-day hiatus to gauge the public mood, Col Cyrus Oguna has emerged from his foxhole with a rather feeble spin even as Gen Karangi has pressed the mute button. Are we staring at the beginning of a rogue military in the mould of Kabila’s Democratic Republic of Congo where every barrack is an authority unto itself? It is sad that such an incident, though isolated, has occurred when our forces were still on the radar over alleged gross human rights violations during the Mt Elgon operation.

I am afraid that our lucrative renowned peace keeping contracts with the United Nations could come to a screeching halt after the latest incident of killing a housefly with a sledgehammer. I totally and unequivocally condemn the stupid killing of our security personnel but l also hold that disproportionate force should never be used against an entire community in a bid to right a wrong. For Jove’s sake it is individuals and not their communities that killed the soldiers. Over to you, General Karangi.

 

The writer comments on social issues

 


 

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