NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 21 – Two police officers were killed early on Tuesday and two others wounded in separate attacks in the Kenyan Capital, just hours before President Mwai Kibaki ordered security chiefs to hunt down and disarm criminals in efforts to stem rising crime.
The two officers were stabbed to death in the city’s Dandora estate, bringing to six the number of law enforcement officers killed within a month, according to the police.
The Head of State who was presiding over a passing-out parade of Administration Police recruits in Embakasi, said he was concerned at the escalating state of insecurity in the country.
“The incidence of armed criminal gangs as well as cases of armed robberies and murder has been a matter of grave concern to the government,” he said and ordered security chiefs to devise new ways of dealing with insecurity.
Part of the cause of incidence of these crimes he said, had been the proliferation of small arms and light weapons in the country.
He blamed it on “continued fighting in neighbouring Somalia” which he said had contributed immensely to the infiltration of illicit arms into the country.
“My government will not spare any effort to mop up illicit arms that are used by criminals to carry out banditry attacks, cattle rustling, armed robberies and murders in various parts of the country,” he said.
The officers who were slain in the city were lured by criminals to a hideout where they were stabbed to death while a third officer was seriously wounded.
Police sources told Capital News that the officers’ guns were stolen during the early morning incident.
Hours later, an Administration Police officer was shot and seriously wounded in Nairobi’s Majengo slum.
Police said the officer was on patrol when a lone gunman shot him in the back and fled in a worrying rise in attacks targeting law enforcers.
Last month, three CID officers were gunned down in Athi River and their AK-47 rifles stolen. A week ago, a Flying Squad officer was killed in Pangani estate. His colleague was wounded and is admitted to hospital with life-threatening injuries.
In the hard-hitting statement against crime and criminals, President Kibaki vowed not to spare any effort in stemming rising violent crime in Kenya.
The President who spoke during the 51st passing-out parade of Administration Police recruits at the AP Training College (APTC) in Embakasi, urged members of the public to cooperate with security agencies to successfully mop up illicit firearms.
“This is what will enable us to build a secure nation that we are all clamouring for,” President Kibaki said.
The Head of State at the same time emphasised the need for cooperation among security agencies in the fight against crime, saying inter-agency synergy would lead to efficient performance in crime reduction.
Noting that globalisation and advancement in technology had contributed to the sophistication of crime, the President said all law enforcement agencies must adopt new strategies to combat the new breed of crimes.
“Such responses should include entering into partnership with local communities in the fight against crime through community policing,” the Head of State said.
On lawlessness in the Horn of Africa, he said: “Somalia has contributed immensely to the infiltration of these illicit arms into our country. We will continue to join the African Union and the international community in looking for a lasting solution to the problem in Somalia,” he said.
There has been an upsurge of violent armed crimes in the country which has not spared senior government officials, celebrities and businessmen.
Last month, gangsters shot the Youth and Sports Permanent Secretary Kinuthia Murugu who later succumbed to gunshot injuries while at the Nairobi Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit.
Other prominent personalities who have fallen victims to armed robberies include Assistant Justice Minister William Cheptumo whose house in Nairobi was raided and property and money stolen.
Khwisero MP Evans Akula was also carjacked and robbed two months ago on Raphta Road in Nairobi’s Westlands area just as he entered his home.
Dozens of civilians have also fallen victim to similar robberies in which they have lost property, left wounded or even killed.