By DAVID KIMAIYO
The ongoing crackdown against criminals across the county is not targeting any particular community or religious group but individuals who have been causing mayhem and terrorising Kenyans.
The operation is aimed at restoring law and order and it is unfortunate that some Kenyans have trivialised the exercise to view that it is aimed at certain religious groups and members from one particular community.
Those who have been arrested in the past few weeks are from different communities in Kenya and foreigners who do not posses legal documents to be in the country.
The operation is being done professionally and those who conduct the operation need not be criticised for what they have done in efforts to weed out criminal elements in the society.
However, some leaders have taken this action out of proportion to imply that the operation has taken a religious dimension as well as undermining professional careers of Government officers by criticising their efforts in the fight against crime.
The fact that they held previous positions in other sectors does not mean that they cannot effectively head the security docket.
In any case, this is a collective responsibility of all Kenyans to upheld peace and report any acts of lawlessness to security agencies for appropriate action to be taken.
At the same time, religious affiliations of all Kenyans have been respected during the operation as contained in the constitution.
We all have our religious backgrounds and possibly positions in the religious leadership which has nothing to do with fight against crime.
The terrorists who have been harassing Kenyans live amongst us and the ongoing exercise is aimed at ensuring that Kenyans have conducive environment to carry out their daily activities without any form of harassment.
The leaders need to give constructive criticism and not to shift blame when it comes to such matters of security.
It is high time that we differentiate between religious and tribal affiliations in the fight against crime.
All Kenyans have a right to security and live in any part of the country as enshrined in the constitution irrespective of their ethnic or religious backgrounds.
For Ahmednasir Abdullahi to claim in his article last week that Kenyan Somalis are treated like second -class citizens shows that the writer is misinterpreting facts as far as the operation is concerned.
Those leaders defending criminals and they want us believe criminals are good citizens, let be it! But as we had stated earlier, I wish to repeat that the Government is not purging any community but we are weeding out criminals in the society.
What the writer needs to understand is that security is enshrined in the constitution, existing legislation and respective arms of the Government are involved in ensuring law and order is maintained at all times. What we are doing, has nothing to do with their previous careers.
In any case, security matters are a collective responsibility where all Kenyans irrespective of their religion, tribe or political affiliation must participate if we are to get rid of the criminal elements hindering efforts to restore law and order in every corner of this nation.
Kenyans should volunteer useful information which can lead to the arrest of criminals living amongst us and peace will be elusive to attain.
But to what extent those leaders who’re criticizing the ongoing security operation have participated in the war against crime to weed out criminals?
It is also preposterous for the Abdullahi who’s a lawyer to claim there is violation of human rights by security officers without giving evidence.
We care for the people in custody and that anybody with evidence of violation of human rights should report to the relevant authorities instead of issuing or writing alarming statements which can create hatred and animosity between the Government and certain communities.
Article 33 of the constitution guarantees freedom of expression to every Kenyan but this does not mean that we should write or say anything on sensitive matters without giving facts.
I wish to assure Kenyans that we shall not relent in the war against terrorism and other criminal activities in any part of this country.
I shall sustain the work of keeping Kenya safe to protect lives, property of the people and our prosperity.
We ask for support of all Kenyans in the fight against terrorism and other criminal activities since security arms of the Government cannot single handedly win the war against crime.
But whatever the case, it is high time that we as citizens, distinguish between petty issues, serious matters of security and collectively fight against crime.
I urge Abdullahi to meditate over his remarks and join other Kenyans in the ongoing crusade against insecurity.
(Kimaiyo is the Inspector General of Police)