Protect Kenyans Now Against Persistent Threat From Asymmetrical Forces

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Kenya’s security forces and the police are doing their level best to provide security at this time when Kenya is dealing with security problems originating from Somalia. The recent spate of grenade attacks in public places, notably the Machakos Country bus station and a church in Garissa are indicators that call for extraordinary measures, security arrangements to diminish and eradicate security breaches that is costly, claiming lives of innocent people. Anyone who understands the meaning of infiltration and clandestine nature of terror operations knows that a place such as Machakos Country bus terminal is a wide open, vulnerable to surreptitious entry by lawbreakers and needs all round security as a matter of urgency to fully protect Kenyans.

Some will argue that police patrols and surveillance are good enough to guarantee security. Others think that encouraging public service vehicle operators to enhance security in their business operations would be sufficient to stop criminals from carrying out attacks. Well, although these measures are useful to certain extent, they are not going to address the current challenges of grenade throwing felons from happening. The only way to defeat this threat in my expert view, is to invest heavily in physical infrastructure of closed circuits cameras, barriers, manned posts, and detection/inspection resources (Sniffer dogs, metal detectors and scanners) to bolster the above already mentioned measures, in coordinating access control to discriminate between criminals and peaceful citizens in order to guarantee a safe business environment for all.

At the moment, as an open transport hub and free-for-all to access area, it is not possible to secure the terminus from destabilizing activities of criminals. It is hard to tell what goes on in the market by day and night. It is even unreasonable to imagine how possible it is to detect intentions and plans of criminals in such a highly porous and crowded zone.

Instead of waiting for another incident to take place, the Nairobi city council in partnership with the Ministry of internal security and the Kenya police, need to put in place an urgent security plan for all common user public utilities such as Bus terminus, Hospitals, Universities and open air markets to guarantee security of Kenyans to meet the current security challenges facing the country.

The citizens have responsibility to help in combating crime by cooperating with the authorities in providing information that can assist them with improving and dealing with issues of security and safety that directly affects them.

Mohamed Wato is a retired army officer and a practicing Security professional. He is the author of the book; Walking A tight Rope amidst Kenya Post Election violence.

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Mohamed Wato
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