Government’s denial over insecurity is deadly
The US, UK and Australia have warned their citizens to restrict their movements in Nairobi and the Coast to the minimum.
The embassies warned that they had very credible information that terrorists were planning to attack the two regions.
The British flew in chartered planes to evacuate their citizens while the American embassy said it would reduce its staff due to security concerns.
Sadly, this failed to provoke any purposeful action on the part of our national and county governments. Instead, it drew condemnation from the establishment.
President Kenyatta criticised the advisories saying they would only “strengthen the will of the terrorists as opposed to helping us win that war.”
The President termed the warnings “economic sabotage’’ and accused the three governments of being “green with envy” over the recent visit of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang to the country.
But even before the ink could dry on his statement last Friday, the terrorists struck. Two bombs were hurled, one at a matatu and another at a clothes’ stall at Gikomba, killing at least 12 people and injuring more than 70.
As unfortunate as the attack was, the three governments were vindicated.
Ignore the warnings
Our government’s response to the advisories was not entirely unexpected. It is not the first time it has displayed open contempt for any suggestion that Kenya might be unsafe.
We have been told how foreign intelligence agencies warned about the Westgate attack months before it happened, only for our security agencies to ignore the warnings with devastating consequences.
The Government seems to be more obsessed with the fear of losing revenue from tourism by conceding that there is insecurity in the city and the country at large than safeguarding its citizenry.
So deeply entrenched is this self-denial that little action seems to be taken towards eliminating the threat of terrorism in the city and other parts of the country.
It is the reason the terrorists are having a field day, launching attack after attack in Nairobi and Mombasa.
The sooner our security agencies accept the bitter truth that the terrorist threat is real, the better for us all.