baby ceplinFrom subtle terrorists to petty offenders, from high end suburbs down to the slums we are sitting ducks surviving at the mercy of experienced criminals and delinquents. As the sun rises and falls so do they sharpen their skills waiting to capitalise on our laid back attitudes which the security agencies do little to mitigate. There is a serious void mainly due to our attitude of forgetting so fast all in the name of ‘moving on’ and a clear lack of being patriotic. The rain started beating us when we succumbed to politics fodder, so drawn were we that overtime we neglected the very security basics and inquisitiveness. We never report cases of those suspicious characters in our neighborhoods. I know ‘suspicious’ is an amorphous word which is neither here nor there but that is not an excuse. We can not afford not to be on the look out watching over our personal security and by large that of the country. Our nation’s safety should come first at any one time, we have no other place to call home.

When the immigration officials and security agencies at the border started auctioning our country, we watched from a distance without raising an eyebrow, in other words we invited trouble. Martin Luther puts it this way; “An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.” Take a look at the impatience we display when going through security checks, call it our peculiar ways of living.More fundamentally the problem lies with the men and women in blue who are unfit, under equipped and demoralised. We churn out people from Kiganjo still trained on challenges we faced back in the 80’s such as cattle rustling when we as a country are grappling with serious villains ready to die for an ‘ideology’. Its self defeating for a county commissioner to give a directive on shoot to kill of suspects, you never kill the messenger, in any case it will encourage more martyrs. Recall there are thousands of indoctrinated youths out there, killing them is only confirming to them that their ‘war’ is ‘justified’ as ‘virgins wait them in heaven.’ Police main focus should be in digging out as much information as possible from the suspects, that will help in nailing the people who call the shots in this ideology.

Am made to believe Kenya Police does not have a digital database that can be used for intelligence and profiling of criminals. Someone joked that our police behave like robots, they have no skills of telling nor identifying suspicious characters from a crowd. In global security circles some people go through more security checks than others’ they call it profiling. But castigating the police wont help the situation, Our bigger worry should be directed to the government of the day. Does it have a strategy on combating crime or is it just a knee jerk reactor, these piecemeal actions by the security agencies only seem laughable on the eyes of terrorists. When we arrest tens of youths and later release them the following day for idling when terrorists invade and kill christians in a church, there is a problem. There is even a bigger problem when everybody speaks for the government on twitter.For instance on the Likoni tragedy, accounts run by our security forces gave conflicting information some saying police were 100 metres from the said church and they tried to pursue the attackers in vain whilst the other quarter reported to have engaged them!.

As a country we must rise to the occasion and smell the coffee, Al shabab and the rest have a serious narrative that they are selling to our unemployed youths.We must counter it first by heavily investing in intelligence, make police act on the intelligence, building capacity in terms of ratio of police to citizens, address their welfare, establish forensic labs, well funded civilian police, winnow rogue men and women in the force, roll out Nyumba Kumi initiative in a more clear way and embrace technology but more importantly as Kenyans we must be patriotic enough. Having said that, this is not a war that can be won through a military solution alone, there is need to reach out to the communities affected, make them feel part of Kenya by addressing their day to day grievances.If we win their trust so will we win this war but the opposite is also true.

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