By Edith Fortunate
Security has been a very delicate topic to discuss since the Jubilee Government took office in April last year. And for any country, securing its interior is always key.
We have faced trying times as a country, especially in September 2013 when terrorists attacked the popular Westgate mall in Nairobi killing people and injuring others.
The most recent attack was on Friday when unknown assailants set off explosives in the famous Gikomba market, killing 10 people and injuring many others.
It’s a trying time for the country where full support from its citizens is crucial.
Most of the time in security operations, it takes more than Government’s muscle to win a war. The Government has admitted that it is experiencing setbacks even as it continues doing its best to secure the country and has asked its citizens for support.
It baffles me why a certain clique doesn’t want this to happen, claiming President Uhuru Kenyatta can’t govern the country; is there something they know that we don’t?
The Government is fighting an enemy, both internally and externally, the best we can do as citizens is support it fully.
In an era where claims of revolution, destabilising the Government of the day with a few names mentioned, terrorism are rife and a number of travel advisories issued to this extent it’s hard to rule out either especially since Al Shabaab hasn’t claimed responsibility as it normally does.
There have been claims of soaked intelligence, the NIS and the Interior Ministry sleeping on the job but my take is different, these public servants are working but some people aren’t willing to share vital information on crooks or terrorists contributing to their escape in which they can harm you or your relatives or friends.
An example, if you are a landlord and realise that your tenant is a thug or terrorist, why do you find it easy to give them notice to vacate your house, instead of quietly reporting the matter to the authorities?
Do you realise that by allowing them to vacate and go elsewhere puts the lives of many others at risk?
Imagine if it’s a terrorist who already has a plan to bomb a place and you let them go rent elsewhere, that doesn’t stop them from carrying on with their activities.
But if you reported to the authorities that is equal to saving many lives. In security information comes from within and not without, and the within is you as a Kenyan because even intelligent officers talk to people to get information which they verify.
We need to change our attitude to be able to secure our country, give information to authorities, use technology introduced by the Ministry of Interior and the National Police. And as much as we rely on the new technology to be set we need to be vigilant and be our brother’s keeper.
We should embrace #NyumbaKumi which has worked for majority of people I know, myself included.
Get to know your area OCS, OCPD and create a rapport with them – such contacts are necessary in case you need help – want to share information or someone you know is in need of help.
Patriotism is also key; the government is doing its best, in April it graduated 7,210 police officers, there is increased surveillance within the country, measures to deal with porous borders for good are being discussed and the only fair thing as a citizen of this country is to share information about fishy dealings as far as security is concerned instead of the blame game.
Patriotism is key as it holds us together as one country one nation with one goal.
Remember security information comes from within not without.
(Edith Fortunate is a political communication advisor)