, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 4 – The National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) has expressed concern over the current wave attacks in the country, more so against security officers.
In an interview with Capital FM News, NCIC chairperson Francis ole Kaparo said the trend was worrying and called for a comprehensive review of the security machinery and its image.
“Long time ago society respected authority; they respected the crown… they feared the police. They wouldn’t raise their hands against the police. Now the police have been taken as fair game by all these rag tag militia, thieves and criminals of all descriptions. That, certainly, is worrying,” he explained.
The invasion of the Nyali Barracks in Mombasa on Sunday by 20 attackers is an incident he described as unfortunate but called for thorough investigations to reveal the motive and the people behind it.
In his view, serious questions have to be asked on what could have inspired the gang to walk into a military barracks – a highly protected zone and expect to attack security officers.
Having watched Kenya grow over many decades, Kaparo said he was perturbed by the continuing lack of respect for security officers.
He expressed fears that the act by the gang could have been a spill-over of the lack of respect for the men and women in uniform that has become common place.
Whereas he said there is no excuse for the incident and that the attackers should face the full force of the law, he advised security authorities to embark on building a new image that will restore the respect accorded to security officers in the country in previous years.
“It begins also with the way the police behave, they too need to do an image make-up,” he advised.
Kaparo further urged members of the public to change their attitude towards security officers and work with them to identify criminal elements that are putting lives of all Kenyans at risk.
“Society must stop this ‘gung-ho’ attitude that you all combined, you run over the law enforcement agencies. We must understand no society can exist without those who ensure that criminals are brought to book,” he stressed.
Kaparo further identified frequent complaints by human rights organisations over abuse of rights whenever police conduct operations to uncover criminals as a factor that discourages implementation of law and order in Kenya.
He complained that some criminal activities especially those witnessed in Turkana were being christened under cattle rustling yet they should be treated as pure murder and robbery crimes.
“We should not use cattle rustling to cover up heinous crimes where murder is committed. Cattle rustling ceases to be a cultural practice where murder is involved,” he said.
Kaparo who has been in charge of the NCIC docket for about a month said his new job is the most challenging assignment he has ever been entrusted with especially with the worrying trend of warring between communities and the disturbing attacks in the country.
Apart from police doing their best in dealing with criminal elements in the society, Kaparo called on Kenyans to do what they can to work with authorities to identify criminals and also participate in building a cohesive Kenya.
According to him, it is only through concerted efforts that Kenya can achieve a peaceful and secure country.
“We cannot do reconciliation and cohesion in a state of war or in a state of lawlessness. Law and order must be restored for us to reconcile people,” Kaparo asserts.