, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 15 – Deputy President William Ruto has called on Kenyans who have unlicensed firearms to voluntary surrender them to the authorities before the law catches up with them.
According to statistics provided by the Kenya National Focal Point on Small Arms and Light Weapons, there are about 650,000 arms in the wrong hands, which poses a serious security threat to the country.
The Deputy President was speaking on Tuesday at the Ngong Traffic Police training school where he oversaw the destruction of more than 5,000 arms, majority of which were voluntary surrendered to police over the past 5 years.
“It is the responsibility of government agencies and Kenyans is to ensure there is peace in this country. We have about 5,250 illicit firearms set to be destroyed… most of these firearms were voluntarily surrendered while some are from violent criminals that were recovered by our security personnel and others from or disarmament programs,” the Deputy President said.
“It is very important for all of us to know that the destruction of the illicit firearms is important because their continued presence in the hands of wrong people continues to violate our peace and stability becoming a threat to the security of our country.”
The arms included pistols and G3 rifles seized from criminals in Nairobi, while others were voluntarily surrendered to police from Rift Valley.
Already the Government has marked about 90 percent of all state fire arms in a bid to ensure they are accounted for and not misused, in the execution of crimes.
“Armed violence, community violence, cattle rustling and poaching is what that makes these illicit firearms dangerous for our country,” he asserted. “Our efforts as Government and other partners are geared towards ensuring that apart from eliminating armed conflict, cattle rustling and armed crime, it will also help us deal with matter of drugs and human trafficking, terrorism and piracy, all of which are promoted by illicit arms in wrong hands.
We must surrender all firearms that are not licensed, because the Government is taking steps to ensure there is adequate security for all of us.
I urge all state agencies that have control and custody of firearms to make sure they are accounted for, properly managed and they are properly used so that they don’t get to the wrong hands or are used to the wrong mission.”
Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaisserry on his part cautioned that the Government will soon put into effect a new law on illicit firearms that will lead to imprisonment of the culprits.
“I would like to urge citizens with firearms that are not licensed to surrender them before we come for them,” he warned.
“Those who still own these illicit firearms should be warned. We have a new law that will soon be effected and will see many jailed for a number of years.”
This comes 3 weeks after the Government destroyed 80,000 assorted ammunition’s in Magadi.