LAIKIPIA KILLINGS: THE SHAMEFUL NEGLIGENCE AND INCOMPETENCE OF CABINET SECRETARY, INTERIOR, AND THE INSPECTOR-GENERAL, NATIONAL POLICE SERVICE
Like the rest of Kenya, we have received news of the violent conflict in Laikipia and the humanitarian suffering it has caused, with grief and horror. So far, more than 10 people have been killed and countless families displaced over a period characterized by vicious impunity, banditry and utter lawlessness. Schools have been destroyed and all semblance of normal life completely obliterated.
In the year 2021, within the Republic of Kenya, an orgy of monstrous primitivity has been visited upon innocent Kenyans while the National Police Service stand helplessly, unwilling or unable to do anything to curb it.
During the period of gross impunity, vicious banditry and harrowing suffering in Laikipia, the Police service has demonstrated remarkable responsiveness and ability to act decisively in carrying out political errands. The mobilization demonstrated when disrupting political gatherings, pursuing and arresting politicians and generally intimidating and terrorising the political opponents of their instructing clients has been nothing short of impressive.
We however, observe that this zeal and dedication has been completely lacking when genuine security threats that legitimately demand decisive police response. As a result, Kenyans have died, many others have been injured and colossal value of property has been lost. Thousands of Kenyans are now displaced. Learners have been deprived of schools. Women, children, the elderly and the disabled are now experiencing intensified vulnerability. Under any circumstances, this state of affairs would be grossly unjust and unacceptable. Given the well-known pattern of selective security response, what is happening in Laikipia is atrocious and totally unconscionable.
The Inspector-General of the National Police Service must take responsibility for the disastrous situation in Laikipia and resign. He has proven himself more than willing and able to take up partisan political errands and continues to demonstrate lackluster motivation to address matters affecting Kenyans that fall within his core mandate.
As recently as last week, the Inspector-General took great trouble to publicise deployments of police officers guarding the Deputy .
President, making a huge spectacle of his masters’ reckless vindictiveness. The Inspector-General has refused to act professionally and independently in the discharge of his duties.
He has not hidden the fact that he is a helpless marionette at the beck and call of illegitimate outside forces. In so doing, he has undermined the constitutionally entrenched independence of his office and Service to the grave detriment of national security and the rule of law.
We must also call out Mr. Mutyambai’s political masters, especially those who are tasked with managing the Ministry of the Interior. We know that the Cabinet Secretary for the Interior, Fred Matiang’i invited himself to address the National assembly Committee on Administration and National Security to speculate and gossip for hours about the Deputy President’s wealth under the pretext of discussing the deployment of the Deputy President’s security detail.
We also know that the CS staged this huge charade whilst the atrocities in Laikipia were taking place, but spared no moment to address them. This focused pursuit of political vendetta at the expense of national security has grossly degraded our security and eroded public confidence in the state.
The CS continues to display arrogant disregard for the constitution and the rule of law, reveling in his violations of the independence of various institutions, especially, that of the National Police Service command. This brazen impunity continues to undermine the confidence of Kenyans in public institutions and, indeed, the integrity of the state.
We are also dismayed to observe that the National Assembly’s Committee on Administration and National Security made itself available as a forum for the cabinet secretary to pursue his petty vendetta whilst Kenya was being ravaged by unprecedented armed conflict and overrun by marauding bandits. The Committee failed to call out Matiang’i over his callous disregard for a genuine national security emergency and humanitarian distress, and allowed him to rampage unchecked over non-issues.
The Committee, huddled like timid school boys, completely abandoned its oversight mandate and neglected its constitutional duty to hold the executive to account on a national issue of fundamental importance. The Committee has been a negligent enabler and accomplice of the ministry of interior in its violent excesses and disastrous negligence.
We cannot carry on this way anymore. Many Kenyan lives have been lost, and many more are in danger. Too much is at stake, and it cannot be business as usual. Mistakes have been made, and there has been a notable display of disinterest, incompetence and unwillingness on the part of the Kenyan government to provide security to its people. We are calling attention to this issue, and demanding that it receive priority response from concerned institutions. We are also stating that the Inspector-General of the National Police Service has not demonstrated the independence, leadership and professionalism of the caliber demanded by the constitution, or by the competent command of the service nor the current security needs of the country. He must go. Similarly, his enablers in the Ministry of the Interior must equally face the music.