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Kenya: Govt turns to communities in fight against terrorism

The government has focused its war on terrorism to the community as efforts to eliminate the vice gain momentum.

Government spokesman Eric Kiraithe noted on Monday that this will seal gaps used by criminals.

Addressing journalists at Mbaraki Sports Club in Mombasa, Mr Kiraithe said the country shall only defeat terrorism if vigilance from the community to the government level is seamless.

“Efforts to eradicate terrorism must continue. The multi-agency approach is bearing fruits and everyone should step up. Nobody should be complaisant because we are dealing with a very wicked enemy,” he said.

He added that Kenyans must be vigilant and have zero tolerance to this crime in order to end it.

WEAK LINKS

Mr Kiraithe said state agencies have demonstrated that they have the capacity to deal divisively with terrorism.

“But for this battle to be won we must eliminate the weak links. One of the weakest links is the contact, communication and cooperation among the people and the police,” he said.

A key solution, he said, is the “serious” implementation of the Nyumba Kumi initiative.

He said it is time that Kenyans to see the initiative not as “a government programme” but as a tool for dealing with all issues of insecurity, terrorism being one of them.

RADICALISATION

Mr Kiraithe further noted that radicalisation is being done among communities by people who infiltrate them, yet they do not seem bothered.

“What we need to know and apply is that the right to privacy must be balanced with the right to security. Peep into your neighbours’ compounds, not because you want to know how rich they are but for your safety,” he said, adding the zeal to fight terrorism applies to the fight against corruption.

His remarks came a week after President Kenyatta directed county commissioners to ensure every county launches and implements a “County Action Plan for the Prevention and Countering of Violent Extremism”.

The commissioners are expected to report on the progress of their collaboration with civil society groups, religious leaders and other stakeholders, to ensure radicalised Kenyans and those who sway them are quickly detected and dealt with.

POLITICS

Mr Kiraithe also touched on politics, saying it is time for Kenyans to stop “permanent politicking” and concentrate on issues of national importance.

It is absurd to hear of the 2022 general election much more than of issues affecting the public, he said.

“We understand that 2022 is important but in terms of addressing issues it will only do so for few individuals and leave behind the millions of Kenyans. It is the responsibility of all of us to ensure that we balance between politics and issues affecting us,” he added.

At the same time, Mr Kiraithe said the government is working to ensure there is strategic communication to the people.

He said this is to help in implementation of government’s programmes and reach citizens at the lowest level.

By Daily Nation

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