First and foremost, I send my sincere and heartfelt condolences to all those who lost their loved ones on April 2, 2015 during the horrible attack by al-Shabaab terrorists at Garissa University College in Kenya. There were at least 142 students from the total number of 148 people who were killed. Secondly, I strongly condemn the callous actions of the killers who cut short the lives of those young and hopeful Kenyans, who had nothing to do with their evil minds.
Apart from the above, I am angered that President Uhuru Kenyatta rubbished the travel advisory issued particularly by the United Kingdom government on March 27, 2015 which warned about an impending terror attack in Garissa. “There is a high threat of kidnapping in the areas within 60km of the Kenya-Somalia border, in Garissa County and in coastal areas north of Pate Island”, according to a section of the dispatch. Uhuru was cited in the media on April 01, saying: “As much as they say they don’t want their taxi drivers to come, President Obama has said he is coming.” The Interior Ministry Cabinet Secretary (CS) Joseph Nkaissery, equally acted with disdain to the warning by mentioning: “As government, we strongly believe that these advisories are driven by considerations, other than insecurity.” A day later when Garissa University College was attacked, Nkaissery responded that: “We were taken by surprise.”
Uhuru has been reckless with his words in the past, such as when he asked where the parents of a three year-old girl were, when she was raped by her uncles last November. Which normal parent would knowingly let their child be raped? Travel advisories by the European, Australian and American foreign offices should be taken seriously by sharing information across the security arms of the government to prevent unnecessary deaths. If Uhuru has a personal problem with the British because of refusal by the UK government to support Uhuru’s anti-ICC rhetoric since the son of Kenyatta came to power, he should solve it instead of sacrificing the security of millions of Kenyans.
Ironically, in 2013 Uhuru hired the London-based British PR firm, BTP Advisers, to run his presidential campaigns which reportedly cost 100 million euros (KES 10 billion). He has now added former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, to his list of advisers. Uhuru’s family and a small group of Europeans, mainly of British descent, own some four million acres of land in Kenya. In 1943, Englishwoman Edna Clarke bore a son for his late father President Jomo Kenyatta, named Peter Magana Kenyatta. Moreover, the mother of Margaret, Uhuru’s wife, is German. He should therefore stop fooling Kenyans that he has a problem with white people, yet he is filthy rich and is much closer to them, than his poor sycophants.
Ineptitude and misplaced priorities
The Kenyatta regime has not learnt much since the Westgate Mall attack by al-Shabaab in September 2013. The group continues to kill knowing that the response by Kenyan security is often slow and ineffective. Harrowing narratives are gradually coming from some of the Garissa massacre survivors, who will remain scarred for life, because they either saw or heard their colleagues dying painfully from gunshot or machete wounds. Media reports indicate that it took seven hours for the Recce Squad of the General Service Unit (GSU) to get orders to fly to Garissa, after being alerted at 6 a.m. The first responders who were regular police, were overwhelmed at the scene and received support from the military personnel based at the Garissa barracks. However, they could also not do much since they are not trained for close combat like the GSU. Meanwhile, the four Shabaab members had a field day taunting and laughing at the terrified students, whom they slaughtered without fear.
Once again, Kenyans died mainly because they could not be saved on time due to logistical and decision-making weaknesses that saw the Interior CS Nkaissery and the Inspector General (IG) of Police Boinnet, board a plane to Garissa instead of flying the Recce Squad there immediately. The April 5, 2015 Sunday Nation newspaper has revealed that 18 members of the GSU were eventually deployed to Garissa and within 30 minutes, they had killed the Shabaab militants. It is claimed that the delay in flying the squad members was due to their heavy equipment which could not fit into the available police airplanes. The Interior Ministry spokesman Mwenda Njoka has been quoted in the Sunday Nation saying that the nine hours taken by GSU to respond was normal, since they had many moving parts. Really?
When former Prime Minister Raila Odinga was preparing to bury his late son Fidel Odinga in January 2015, President Uhuru Kenyatta personally offered four military helicopters to ease transportation to his rural home. Since he is the Commander-in-Chief of the Kenya Defense Forces, why did he not order the military to provide choppers to deploy the Recce Squad members immediately to Garissa? Talk about misplaced priorities. Most of those students endured pain and psychological torture while trapped in their hostels waiting to be butchered, yet Uhuru was sitting in Nairobi knowing so well that he could have reduced the casualty by ordering a faster response. Has he ever learnt from the past? Apparently not, since he has never bothered to visit Mandera after the brutal killings of 28 teachers on a Nairobi-bound bus in November 2014, and soon after, 36 quarry workers, by the Shabaab. When more than 60 people were killed by al-Shabaab in Mpeketoni, Lamu County for two days in June 2014, Uhuru was quick to blame local politicians, especially CORD, the Opposition alliance. Later in early 2015, the Shabaab released a blood-chilling video showing how they entered Mpeketoni and slaughtered innocent Kenyans. Uhuru has never commented on the video and has no guts to call the killers by their name, al-Shabaab, and always refers to them as “our enemy.”
Uhuru the non-caring president
When Garissa University was attacked, Kenyatta went against a court ruling which had stopped the intake of police recruits in 2014, by ordering that they be taken for training immediately, at the police college in Kiganjo. According to him, the country does not have enough security personnel. However, the process had been stopped because of the bribes those potential recruits had paid to the recruiting officers. Uhuru issued an executive order on the matter, yet he could not exercise the same to reduce the brutal murders of those innocent students in Garissa. It is beyond imagination that four terrorists had a standoff with military troops for more than ten hours.
Beyond the Shabaab attacks, Kenyans are generally not secure and feel that the president does not care about them and only reacts with threats when killings have already taken place. Uhuru mentioned in 2014 that Kenyans should be responsible for their own security. Maybe the government’s slow response in Garissa was an example of what he meant. He should be aware that the immediate former President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria ran out of luck because Nigerians felt he had failed to stop the perpetual killings by Boko Haram, and could not control corruption. As millions of Kenyans remain disillusioned with Uhuru’s failure to keep security in Kenya, and with the latest attacks at the University, there is every indication that the situation will only get worse. Kenyans should anticipate more attacks because the corrupt Uhuru government in incapable of governing, let alone keep security. Kenya needs a regime change.