By Paul Mwangi,
It is not correct, nor fair, to accuse the Jubilee Government, of being the cause of insecurity in Kenya. Long before Jubilee took over the leadership of this nation, Kenya was already experiencing a rise in the rate of crime in the country.
But the question is not whether Jubilee is responsible for the insecurity in Kenya. It is whether the Jubilee government has failed in its endevours to secure the country.
My submission is that it has not only failed to secure the citizen but is actually responsible for the continuing insecurity in the country.
Letâ€™s look at how Jubilee approached the issue of security when it took over government last year.
On page 11 of the harmonized manifesto of the Jubilee coalition, it says that â€œcrime and security threaten our national security. Criminals stalk our cities while disorder threatens our rural communities. Terrorism and instability are a real and present threat along our borders.â€
After properly summarizing the state of insecurity in Kenya, the Jubilee coalition then proceeded to analyse some of the reasons why this was so. At page 12 of the manifesto, it says;
â€œToo many of our communities have been troubled by violence and the resulting tension has been fueled by a sense of exclusion and disadvantage.â€
And at page 14 it says: â€œHowever, we recognise that much disorder stems from a lingering sense of alienation.â€
And the coalition is clear as to what its role as the ruling party is. It makes the following declaration at page 14 of the manifesto: â€œAny Governmentâ€™s first duty is to keep its citizens safe and secure from harmâ€
It says that in order to fulfill this â€œfirst dutyâ€, it shall carry out â€œ something of a revolution in Kenya; a revolution at its most basic that willâ€¦keep Kenya safe and secure both internally and externally â€.
To do so, the coalition made many proposals on how it will go about creating â€œsomething of a revolutionâ€. These are contained in pages 15 and 16 of the Manifesto. Most notably, it promised to â€œreduce the frustration and alienation which is so often the root of crime in our countryâ€.
It is sad to observe that the proposals made by Jubilee in its manifesto are only being honoured in flagrant breach. Firstly, from the outset, the commonest criticism against Jubilee is that it has increased the sense of alienation of communities and has failed at uniting the various peoples of Kenya. In its own admission, this failure is â€œthe root of crime in our countryâ€.
But letâ€™s look at some of the express promises made by Jubilee in its manifesto as to what it would do to curb insecurity in Kenya.
1. Shake up the National Intelligence Service
Kenyaâ€™s security has been compromised over the years by botched intelligence collection and sharing systems. Jubilee promised to shakeup the NIS. But the only â€œshake upâ€ it has conducted is to replace the Director-General of NIS, who had resigned on his own volition anyway.
Calls for a shakeup of the entire security sector leadership have been ignored, raising question about Jubileeâ€™s sincerity when it made this promise to Kenyans.
2. Pass a new Prevention of Terrorism Act
No such law has been passed nor proposed. Kenya continues to rely on the Prevention of Terrorism Act No. 30 of 2012 which was passed by the Grand coalition.
3. Strengthen the new Independent Police Complaints Authority
While the performance of IPOA is commendable with the little resources it has, there is nothing to show for the promise to strengthen it as promised
4. Increase the police-citizen ratio within five years by recruiting extra 15,000 police officers per annum. Enhance efficiency by providing modern security equipment and transport
The recruitment of officers is not only below the rate promised, the little that has been undertaken is mired in corruption, nepotism and tribalism. This has resulted in a judicial nullification of the last exercise.
The modern security equipment and transport provision programme has collapsed. In fact, as far as modern equipment is concerned, only one bomb proof vehicle has been bought so far, and it is used exclusively by Presidential guards.
5 Create a new Border Security Force to defend the nationâ€™s borders and provide additional security support to border counties.
The worst security situations in Kenya today are in the border counties of Turkana, Mandera and Lamu. The other security threats are in the counties that are peripheral to these i.e. Tana River, Pokot, Samburu, Isiolo, Marsabit and Wajir. So far, not even a policy paper has been lauched forthe establishment of the Border Security Force.
6. Rationalize security budgets and subject procurement of security equipment and services to public scrutiny and ensure competitive bidding
Nothing has changed in the procurement of security equipment and services in Kenya. Just a few months ago, the Government single sourced the provision of a security surveillance systems from Safaricom at a cost of Kenya shillings 15 billion. There was no competitive bidding, public scrutiny or transparency in the tendering as promised in the manifesto.
8. Introduce bolus technology to deal with cattle rustling
Nothing has been heard about this promise since it was written into the manifesto.
Overall, it is difficult to tell what exactly the input of Jubilee in the improvement of security is, that is apart from its continuing attempt to introduce the discredited, insidiously autocratic communist one-party state system of social engineering known as â€œnyumba kumiâ€.
The little it has done, if any, is such a far cry from the â€œsomething of a revolutionâ€ promised in the manifesto that it would be fair to conclude that Jubilee has done nothing to stem the decline of security in Kenya.
Where security is concerned, Jubileeâ€™s sails are still relying on the winds of the Grand coalition.
What is even more disturbing is that the coalitionâ€™s failure comes amidst its admission that â€œany Governmentâ€™s first duty is to keep its citizens safe and secure from harmâ€. So what does this failure mean, even in Jubileeâ€™s own terms?
And it is not that Jubilee has been idle as it fails in its primary duty. No! On the contrary, Jubilee has spend a lot of time and massive amounts of resources fighting the International Criminal Court, constructing a standard gauge railway against the better advise of many sober minded economists, reforming the National Youth Service ( rather than the National Police Service ), and cleaning up Kibera.
And the future does not look good either. The governmentâ€™s policy of militarizing internal security will makes thing worse.
The people of Kenya when they promulgated the Constitution 2010 were very wary of the situation where the military may be used in domestic law and order.
Therefore in Article 241 (3) of the Constitution, they provided that the National Defense Forces â€œmay be deployed to restore peace in any part of Kenya affected by unrest or instability only with the approval of the National Assemblyâ€.
Under Jubilee, the military is slowly replacing the police in the maintenance of domestic law and order. The military is deployed so frequently that Government doesnâ€™t even care to seek Parliamentary approval anymore.
This will invariably have two results. The first is the general decline in respect for human rights. While the police are trained to protect the citizen, the military is trained to attack enemies. But in domestic situations, there are no enemies. Everyone, both the victim and the assailant, are citizens.
Engaging the military in internal security brings about the danger that they will treat one set of Kenyans as enemies, for that is what they are trained to do. For this reason, the military is used very sparingly and to a very limited extend in the scope of responsibility, equipment and time.
The second danger in militarizing internal security is what is called â€œthe weaponsâ€™ effectâ€. It is a proven phenomenon in social psychology that the mere presence of a weapon leads to more aggressive behavior in human beings.
So while the Jubilee government thinks that marching the Kenya Defense Forces into insecure areas will intimidate the confrontationists into submission to law and order, the actual effect as established by scientific research is that this will escalate the levels of hostility to â€œmilitary gradeâ€.
The overall result will be that in the end, we shall have to militarize the country just to contain the levels of insecurity resulting from having militarized internal security in the first place.
Then, in the end, Jubilee need not have made all those promises on security in its manifesto. It would have sufficed to say that in order to deal with the security situation, is shall militarize the Kenyan State.
The author Paul Mwangi, is the Chairman, Okoa Kenya Committee of Experts