, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 28 – Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet on Tuesday cautioned Kenyans against lowering their guard despite the end of US President Barack Obama’s visit to Kenya without any security incident.
In an exclusive interview with Capital FM News, Boinnet said Kenyans needed to remain alert and report any suspicious activity to the police using the hotline 999.
He said that while Kenyans may feel as though security had been relaxed following President Obama’s departure, “I am always alert and awake all the time, President Obama around or not,” he assured.
“My nightmare was that someone might sneak in and do something nasty but thank God what we had put in place worked and we are determined to keep them away from our borders, keep them away from our cities and keep this country safe.”
He said President Obama’s incident-free visit had bolstered Kenyan security forces’ confidence in their capabilities but taught them to, “trust but verify.”
“We actually surprised ourselves that what we ordinarily do in planning operations of this magnitude is the very same way Americans do. Obviously they’re much more advanced than us in terms of resources, but in our own little way we do our level best. What we learnt is paying attention to the minutest detail,” Boinnet detailed.
There was also a lesson in civility, Boinnet admitted, in the way the American security agents carried out their duties.
“The police force as it was created by the British was to subjugate the natives. We are no longer natives and we’re no longer a force but a service, however, the reform process is still ongoing,” he sought to explain.
He was however adamant that the police were and had been providing Kenyans with more or less the same level of security as they experienced during President Obama’s visit.
“Out of the 10,000 boots on the ground, only 1,600 were from outside Nairobi not including Prisons Officers, NYS and the Forest Service. It’s just that the police presence was more visible as there was no human traffic.”
Kenyans, he said, however needed to do their part post-Obama and help guard against the vandalisation of the security cameras put up in the capital as part of the national government’s anti-terror efforts.
“Criminals would rather not be captured on camera and so they’re interfering with them but they’re for public safety and so the public needs to speak out against it,” Boinnet urged.