NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 12 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has maintained that the proposed Security Laws (Amendment) Bill 2014 is for the good of Kenyans and urged leaders to debate it in a civilised manner.
Speaking during the country’s 51st Jamhuri Day celebrations on Friday, the Head of State emphasised the need to rationalise security laws to curtail what he terms as activities of highly trained and dangerously armed enemies.
President Kenyatta urged leaders who have concerns about the law to proposed amendments in a rational manner rather than bicker.
“If you think there is a problem in the proposed law, discuss it in a calm and respectful manner and others will listen to you. But these other things that are happening are childish and foolish. And that is what our enemies like – when they see us fighting among ourselves,” he stated.
President Kenyatta also stressed the need for leaders not to politicise the issue, saying it had an impact on all Kenyans.
“I want to plead with my fellow leaders that when we are debating security issues, let us leave politics aside. This is because security is the concern of everyone, be it in government or Opposition. Security is the concern of all of us, the entire 40 million Kenyans,” he pointed out.
His sentiments follow heated debate in Parliament on Thursday where a section of MPs strongly opposed the proposed law.
“When we start debating the security issue, if you have an opinion let us do so in a civilized manner. You have not been gagged but give your opinion in Parliament and it will be heard and you will also contribute positively on the issue,” he said.
President Kenyatta said scrutiny of the country’s laws has revealed that they are inadequate to curtail the activities of such criminals and that was why it was necessary to rationalise security laws.
“We have reflected profoundly and interrogated the adequacy of our laws and security institutions in meeting new security demands. Our conclusion is that Kenya must enhance its ability to detect, monitor and eliminate security threats,” he said.
He assured law abiding Kenyans that they have nothing to worry about in the new law. “In conducting this urgently required necessary process, no freedoms are being curtailed unless you are a terrorist.”
President Kenyatta called on Kenyans to embrace the proposed changes because so many innocent Kenyans have died at the hands of terrorists whose aim is to weaken Kenya.
He explained that there was nothing draconian about the amendments being made to the security laws contrary to claims being made by some leaders.
President Kenyatta urged the media to also play its role properly by not constantly carrying images of Kenyans hurt or killed by terrorists.
“The media promised they will not publish such images but they have not kept their promise. If they cannot control themselves the law will be used to stop them. Carrying such images causes pain for Kenyans and makes the enemy to celebrate,” he said.