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Ignore security at your own peril

By - Mohamed Wato | November 21st 2012

By Mohamed Wato

Ignoring the deteriorating security situation in Kenya is not an option. The primary responsibility of the Government is to guarantee protection of its people. The frequent attacks against the Kenyan people and security agents should be considered as a serious illness that should reignite our defense mechanism to fight back vigorously and ensure our survival.

Kenya is no doubt at war on many fronts. We are fighting extremists in Somalia, grappling with disunity and poverty internally at home, and trying to deal with culture of ineptitude and corruption in the society.
The state of lawlessness is anchored on the shortcomings in our institutional processes, organizational models, and political governance. These shortcomings are known to us from decades ago, but we are proving to be a society that does not learn from experiences.
 It is easy to compare us with warthogs, animals that display acute memory lapse even when faced with life threatening situations. Pundits like to sugar-coat this behaviour by calling it selective memory.
Well, allow me to remind us that Kenya was under terrorist attack multiple times. Suguta valley is also a familiar terrain to our security forces; they have met stiff resistance from bandits while undertaking security operations in the past.
Grenade attacks have been  frequent  since the day KDF declared war against the Al Shabab. Sadly, all these incidents have not helped us to change our ways. We have refused  to adapt to changing realities of the environment in which we live.

America as you know was awoken by the September 11 terror attacks on twin towers in 2001. They introduced a raft of measures in the period after terrorist attack including establishing a new specialized agency - The Homeland Security to deal with matters of immigration, border security, registration and identification of persons, and intelligence. The ensured that the body would tackle all issues central to the counter terrorism efforts.
The US  regularly enacts legislation to fill loopholes identified by findings, through inquiry into issues of national interest. Their scope of issues are wide ranging, they are not limited to security but many sectors of government - politics and economy.

During the George Bush regime in the wake of financial scandals that led to liquidation of major corporate entities like Enron, congress enacted a legislation called Sarbanes Oxley’s act to reign in errant chief financial officers and streamline fiscal discipline in general.

We need to step up and like the rest of the world learn to be proactive. It is quite possible to turn our vulnerabilities into opportunities with good leadership and direction.

The security situation in Kenya is discouraging. We must deal with forces of evil derailing our peace and security in order to safeguard our interest for opportunities of growth and development.
The writer, Mohamed Wato, can be reached on: [email protected]



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