NAIROBI, Kenya, May 19 – Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery has warned Parliament against reducing the budgetary allocation to the Ministry of Interior, warning that this will jeopardise the fight against terror.
While appearing before the Committee on Administration and National Security, Nkaissery said with the evolution of threats, more funds would be required to boost personnel and equipment to heighten security.
“The complex nature of the threats including global terrorism, piracy, trans- national crimes such as trafficking and cybercrime, the growing youth radicalisation are some of the emerging security concerns the country is facing,” said Nkaissery.
“In order to secure the country from these challenges, we are proposing Sh59 billion be availed to bridge the gap and mitigate the emerging issues.”
The Treasury has allocated the ministry Sh102 billion in the 2015/16 financial year but Nkaissery insists that they require Sh161.8 billion for recurrent and development expenditure.
He warned that if the ministry was not adequately funded, they would not win the war against terror which they had intensified following the myriad of attacks that have rocked the country, the most recent being the Garissa University College terror attack which claimed the lives of 148 people, mostly students.
Nkaissery was responding to questions fired at him over why the ministry was demanding more money yet most of what has been allocated in the past has been lost to corruption which has been blamed for the security lapses.
Yatta MP Francis Mwangangi a member of the committee revealed that during a recent closed-door session with the National Intelligence Service, they were informed that what hindered the fight against terror was rampant corruption in the police service.
Mwangangi took issue with how the ministry disseminated information on the war against terror saying what was fed to the public particularly on the Garissa College attack created a wrong perception.
“We are behaving like this country is the most secure in the world. The recent attacks in Garissa do not in any way make the country so insecure!” said Mwangangi.
Outgoing Interior PS Monica Juma who accompanied Nkaissery admitted that the ministry’s PR department had not performed as expected but however blamed the country’s security woes on the criminal justice system saying it was quick to release terror suspects on bail giving them a chance to reorganise themselves.
“We have become the target because of the constitutional imperative that we have created! The threshold in convicting suspected terrorists is so high that is why every other day a terror suspect is released on bail,” said Juma.
In the wake of the recent attacks that have rocked the country, it has emerged that the security docket is not adequately equipped, police officers have been forced to share rooms with their colleagues due to a shortage of housing units, they do not have the pre-requisite communication devices and most are poorly paid forcing them to procure bribes.
But the officers equally face accusations of corruption that is widespread and which has sadly overridden the challenges they face in the bid to secure the country, but the interior Ministry is adamant it is containing the menace.
Also accompanying Nkaissery was the outgoing Director of Immigration Gordon Kihalangwa who is expected to succeed Juma as PS since she has been nominated to the position of Secretary to Cabinet to replace Francis Kimemia.