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Why we must back anti-terror campaign

As the noisy campaigns for the August 8 elections continue, Kenyans had better be warned to tread very carefully wherever they are.

This is because there is an enemy hovering over the country like a vulture waiting to devour us at our most vulnerable moment.

This terrible enemy poses an immediate and real danger.

Speaking during a public rally at Kizingitini in Lamu County recently, President Uhuru Kenyatta sent out a message that many might have easily confused with the normal political campaigning but which should be taken seriously.

BURY TERRORISTS

He did not mince his words when he warned that he would crush and bury terrorists not only in the coastal region, but also everywhere else in the country where the threat of terrorism is evident.

A few days earlier, a senior government official had been abducted and injured by members of a terrorist group in a manner that smacks of impunity and unimaginable callousness.

Public Works Principal Secretary Mariam El Maawy was kidnapped while on official duty in her home county of Lamu, and was, indeed, lucky to be rescued by a team from the Kenya Defence Forces.

She remains hospitalised while a close relative, her bodyguard and her driver were killed in the ambush by an armed group.

AL SHABAAB

The attack, which has been associated with Somalia’s Al-Shabaab terror group, is the latest in a series that has seen tens of Kenyan civilian and police lives lost.

A section of the country is so unsafe that the President has ordered an evacuation of the locals to allow a more effective onslaught against the enemy, barely two weeks before the General Election.

Every right-thinking Kenyan needs to shed his political tint and relook at the security threat.

Many may argue that there is little an unarmed civilian can do in the face of an externally fuelled armed group.

But let us picture this! There is a credible reason to believe that the terrorists, who have made Boni Forest their home, are supported by some locals.

INTELLIGENCE

Boni is a dense forest in Lamu County that is surrounded by villages.

The terrorists cannot survive for long in the forest without essentials such as food and medicines.

They move and fetch water from the same sources that villagers do and reports abound of these felons interacting with some locals.

Surely, there must be a way the villagers can give intelligence to the security forces!

State officials have been quoted linking the increased insecurity to politics.

ALLEGATIONS

We, as civilians, may not have the means to ascertain the veracity or lack thereof, of these allegations.

But if this is true, then it would mark one of the most defeatist and self-consuming strategies a politician can employ.

Like the proverbial hunter who hides a monster in their backyard, supporting terrorism for whatever reason is one sure way of self-extermination.

For, as soon as the external enemy has been vanquished, the monster is bound to turn against the ally and devour them.

That politician does not have the moral authority to lead anyone for associating with such brainless killers.

VOTERS

The activities of the terror group at the Coast will not only scare away and disenfranchise a good number of potential voters, but will also do irreparable damage to the economy and the country at large, besides claiming so many innocent lives.

And this is why all of us should support government efforts to seek, find and crush the terrorists. Each one of us should play a role in “catching, killing and burying” terrorists to rid our country of the scourge.

 Mr Mugwang’a is a communications consultant based in Nairobi. E-mail: [email protected] Twitter: @Mykeysoul

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