Rampant Insecurity Is Detrimental To Economic Growth

We, the Kenyan people; have a reason to be concerned. Insecurity is skyrocketing in our motherland at a tremendous speed. Unfortunately, Inspector General of Police Mr. David Kimaiyo and the chairman of the National Police Service Commission (NPSC), Mr. Johnstone Kavuludi, are embroiled in personality clash and power struggles-in itself, a threat to our national security.

Unfortunately, as the cold war between police bosses rages, Northern Kenya is a besieged region. Recently, terror attack killed 14 people and injured 66 courtesy of improvised explosive device. US President Obama condemned the attack and called for prosecution of the perpetrators. A couple of weeks ago in Bungoma and Busia, 13 people were murdered, several others injured and displaced. The UN condemned the killings which in essence metamorphosed into crimes against humanity.

Preliminary Police investigation attributed Bungoma massacre to political rivalries between local politicians. Sadly, no single politician has been arraigned before the court. Eastleigh, a city on the outskirts of Nairobi, is synonymous with terror attacks.

A couple of days ago in Garissa, two police officers were brutally murdered. Murder of police officers came on the backdrop of trauma that was unleashed on police officers and their families following murder of 42 police officers in Suguta’s “valley of death”, North-Eastern Kenya. In unprecedented deterioration of security, 10 hardcore criminals last week escaped from Kamukunji police station. In another incident, a police officer was arrested for allegedly attempting to hijack a trailer. Resurgence of Mungiki is causing fear among the residents of central Kenya.

From the plains of Budalang’I to the peak of Mount Kenya, Kenyans are feeling vulnerable. As they sleep, they don’t know what will happen to them by night. From the shores of Mombasa’s Indian Ocean to the shores of the lakeside city of Kisumu, insecurity is creating a rather disconcerting environment.

Yet these fresh incidents of runaway insecurity are occurring on the backdrop of historical gruesome murders and insecurity related incidents that cast a doubt on the commitment of our Kenyan government to end rampant insecurity. Take Tana-River massacre. About 200 people were murdered.

Unfortunately, not a single high profile instigator of the violence has been arraigned in court and successfully prosecuted. The government commissioned an inquiry to unearth circumstances that led to Tana- River massacre. The commission handed its findings to president Uhuru last week.

But if the past approach to handling commission of inquiries is any indicator of how the present reports will be handled, Tana-River commission of inquiry is a foregone conclusion. Nothing will come out of it. The report will gather dust at the shelves of the government offices. But make no mistake. We can cut corners, run and hide. But we can’t run from reality, which is; rampant insecurity ruins national and international image of our country and casts doubt on the commitment of leaders to restore homeland security.

Lest we forget, rampant insecurity is detrimental to the economic growth and shudders economic opportunities for the people. Recently Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) released a report which revealed decreased number of tourists and revenues from the west. Among other reasons, travel advisory issued by Western countries over insecurity in Kenya played a turn-off role.

Rampant insecurity affects investors’ confidence. That’s why our commander in chief of all armed forces president Uhuru Kenyatta should move with speed to reorganize our security apparatus, restore investor confidence and end insecurity. Until rampant insecurity is arrested, Kenyan economy will suffer and economic opportunities for our people of Kenya will nosedive.

By Jacktone S. Ambuka, a Kenyan residing at State College USA.

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