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Tackle insecurity, Speaker pleads

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 22 – The Speaker of the National Assembly Kenneth Marende has expressed grave concern over increased cases of insecurity in the country and called on law enforces to take decisive action to restore calm.

Mr Marende said he was worried at the rate of insecurity incidents reported in the country daily.

He said the trend was sending away investors and warned it could have serious implications on the country\’s economy unless action is taken.

"Security in our country is worrying. We must act so as to enhance, if not assure, security," he told a special sitting of Parliament in Nairobi on Tuesday.

Read the Speaker\’s full speech here.

Although he did not make reference to any specific incident, the Speaker was emphatic that insecurity in the country was serious and need special attention.

"This way, we shall be able to attract investors, tourists and visitors," he said.

The Speaker said his recent visits abroad had revealed that homes were enclosed using flower vases and pruned shrubs as opposed to Kenya where homes are fortified with electric razor wires and high perimeter fences to deter crime.

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He said it did not make sense that when on a visit to other jurisdictions, one witnessed a distinctly higher level of security so much so that homes are actually demarcated by flower pots or garden shrubs.

"Compare this to our country where our offices, homes and even places of worship are secured by high stone walls, electrical fences, razor sharp wires and all manner of high-tech security gadgetry," he said.

"This obviously is not a positive indicator. A visitor seeing how we have barricaded ourselves smells insecurity!" he said.

President Mwai Kibaki on his part called on Parliament to debate and pass two crucial electoral bills within the next three months when he addressed a Special Session of the 10th Parliament.

The President said the two Bills will safeguard free and fair elections and entrench a democratic system of governance.

"I call upon this august House to debate and pass the bills within the next three months," he said.

The Elections Bill provides for the settlement of electoral disputes arising from nominations, the conduct and supervision of elections and the development of a modern system of collection, collation, transmission and tallying of electoral data.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Bill makes provision for effective operation of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission including continuous registration of voters, the delimitation of electoral boundaries, registration of candidates and voter education.

"The next General Election will be held in less than two years from today.  As we approach this important event, it is in the interest of all of us to ensure that the elections are conducted within a framework that guarantees the free and fair exercise of people\’s choices," the President said.

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