After terror attack carried out by Al-Shabaab affiliated militants on Westgate Mall, President Uhuru Kenyatta was recently quoted as saying, "We have ashamed and defeated our attackers." Really? Looking at how confused and disoriented Kenyan Security Forces were, I doubt if at all, Kenya, especially the authority, shamed the attackers. Maybe the word ashamed has another new meaning.
How could Kenya “shame” the attackers as Kenyatta lightly put it while it took long time for national security organs to chip in? How did Kenya “shame” attackers while she did not take any precautionary measures especially working on security tips from NIC’s branch in Mombasa? Where were Kenyan security organs and why did they act and performed unprofessionally? These are, among others, the questions Kenyans are asking. Did Kenya ashame the attacker while up till now the number of victims is not clearly known?
Despite all brouhaha and chest beating, Kenya still has a lot to learn and explain. The big and important lesson from Kenya’s terror attack is that, our governments are sleeping on the wheels as Deputy President William Ruto put it. Ruto said that NIC needs to be overhauled due to the fact that security forces are wasting resources and time on chasing touts and food vendors in lieu of dealing with national security. The situation is the same in Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda where security organs are used by politicians especially ruling cabals to protect them instead of protecting the nation. In Tanzania, for example, national security organs are abusively used by the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) to intimidate, sabotage and frustrate opposition. Refer to how TISS was involved in the torturing of Dr. Stephen Ulimboka, and Abaslom Kibanda not to mention regular police brutality and murder of innocent people such as Daud Mwangosi.
The situation is surreal in Uganda where much money is spent on presidential guards as opposed to being spent on Uganda Defence Force. Opponents like Noble Mayombo and General James Kazini died mysteriously. Despite the duo being President Yoweri Museveni’s close friends and compatriots, Uganda security organs have nary divulged what actually killed them. Arguably, Kenya was caught off guard. The government needs to admit this and move ahead. It needs to tell Kenyans why it failed them. It needs to bring about changes but not shoptalk.
Again, when it comes to Westgate terror attack who ashamed who?