A credible government protects and secures its people and boundaries. I strongly believe it is mandatory for the State to give the citizenry a sense of security from unwarranted harassment, robberies, killings and even kidnappings that have been on the rise in recent days.
It is unacceptable that we continue to lose many precious lives to criminals – as you read this, it’s barely a day since the burial of former Youth Affairs PS Kinuthia Murugu. He like many other Kenyans, lost his life to the brutal acts of gun-toting thugs.
Our economy cannot grow fast enough with the level of crime we have been witnessing. How do we promote a 24-hour economy, when the citizens are afraid to venture out after dark? Furthermore, any reports of insecurity, whether in Mathare or Lavington, will have an impact on decision-making process of potential investors, whether local or international, in determining whether to invest in Kenya.
This, certainly, must stop.
I propose that one area that needs to be closely guarded are our borders. Those placed in charge of monitoring the movement of people and goods have an overriding duty not to allow illegal immigrants and cargo into the country. I daresay, our borders have probably been an entry point of the many weapons that are now easily accessible to criminals.
Apart from this, our law enforcement agencies require a massive revamp in terms of technology, transport and communication. Our officers need better training to counteract modern forms of crime and they need to be compensated well enough to ensure they are motivated and committed to serve and protect Kenyans.
But, more importantly Kenyans themselves must partner with the police and disclose information that can reduce or even avert crimes.
The citizenry needs to know that aiding and abetting crimes is against the law. However, the State must reward those who volunteer information on looming crimes and ensure their identity is protected.
It is not enough for the Ministry of Internal Security to say that it will deal decisively with crime. We need to see proper action in reversing the current crime wave. In the immediate future, I want to suggest that the fuel guzzlers that are being repossessed from top government officials should be sold and the earnings used to purchase economical cars for use by the police to ensure adequate patrols across the day.
Perhaps we could also enlist the National Youth Service personnel to assist the enforcement of law and order? Thirdly, the police force could also create a structure that entices university graduates to enlist for jobs in the Police Service.
One thing they must continue to do, is to communicate with the public. I listened with admiration as the police spokesman Erick Kiraithe responded to security concerns on Capital in the Morning and want to commend him for the good work. That excellent job should now translate to better provision of security for all Kenyans.
The one thing we must learn as Kenyans, is to judge those we elect to power on the basis of their development record. Ideally, if they cannot demonstrate their willingness to serve Kenyans, they should be eligible to be voted out. And I hope that Kenyans are awake to this fact. In which case, I empathise with our politicians come 2012. What achievements will they cite when campaigning?
What will convince Kenyans to vote for them yet they have failed to meet our basic needs of food, shelter and security? They have been unable to protect our water catchment areas leading to severe water shortage. They have failed to create much-needed employment leaving our young people hopeless, and to crown this sorry situation, we are all living in fear.
The time to correct this sorry situation is now. We must not let it deteriorate any further.