Cyprian Is Nyakundi
General

Uhurus APCs A Misplaced Priority

UHURU-CLOSE-UP1

President Uhuru Kenyatta has commissioned Armoured personnel carriers for the Kenya police service to boost fight against terror and crime in the land. Coming at time when the country has suffered unknown casualties in the recent El Adde attack and consequently hit by terror attacks in other areas of the country,this couldn’t have happened at a better time.

It comes out as a step in the right direction given terror threats faced by the country currently. Praises as he prefers have been flying to the president over this development but security experts are casting chlorine in the dirty water. Has Kenya been prone to terror and other criminal attacks due to poorly equipped police service? This has been the core course in dissenting to the President’s move.

Security experts have largely faulted the country’s forces incompetence and deep rooted corruption as key factors that have left the country more than exposed to internal attacks from the foreign militants and not necessarily poor equipment. A case in hand,the Baragoi massacre where tens of policemen were ambushed and killed by suspected cattle rustlers,it emerged there was prior intelligence on pending attack but somebody knowingly or unknowingly led the officers to their death trap.

Westgate,Mpeketoni just to name a few of terror attacks which again emerged that the authorities had clear intelligence on pending attacks and did less or nothing to stop. Clearly,the problem isn’t in the poor armoury but incompetence in intelligence collection,acting on intel and massive corruption that has eased movements of terrorists in and out of the country borders as exposed in an episode of Jicho Pevu,these terrorists have godfathers and have their ways around the borders at the deep in a pocket.

Recently enough,the KDF camp in El Adde that was attacked and even though government is yet to give right figures,hundreds soldiers suspected to have been killed and militants loot heavy armoury. The problem wasn’t poor weapons quality,if anything,KDF boasts of having most modern and powerful weapons as compared to any of the troops in AMISOM. The powerful weapons again didn’t stop them from being killed. As the rest,it came out later that there was strong intelligence two weeks into the attack that was either ignored or someone just decided to sleep on his job.

Simply put,we’re adequately equipped enough to combat any form of attack but lack enough competence in duty. The launched APCs probably have cost hundreds of millions to secure and you can only hope the kickback tradition hasn’t played a role in procuring. Livelihoods of the police officers now obligated to use the machines is in pathetic state. If this man would’ve been used in improving their livelihood reciprocating to a morally charged force,competency would be skyrocketing but here we’re.

Elsewhere in the political corridors,many eyebrows have gone to the foreheads with many suspecting and smelling a rat in the latest procurement. “Uhuru could be planning to use these machines to intimidate voters in 2017 and use force on them should numbers go against him,this is what Museveni does every election year,you’ll see more officers and police armoury more than voters on voting date. Kenyans should be worried.” A CORD affiliated legislator was heard saying on the height of commissioning. Some argue that the equipment giving police service a military look.

If things remain the same then this just new monkeys just different forests. Continue ignoring intelligence,maintaining poor livelihoods officers,keeping corruption alive within and outside borders,these new machines not to be a pessimist but they’ll mean nothing. Its insanity to expect a change when you keep doing same thing over and over.



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