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Former presidential candidate Peter Kenneth has released a statement regarding Sunday’s attack in Mpeketoni. He sent his sympathies to the victims, wishing them quick recovery.

Kenneth pointed out how weak our intelligence gathering is, saying the insecurity in the country has reached intolerable levels. Peter Kenneth further said that it is time we rethink our strategy regarding our forces being in Somalia.

“I have been steadfast in my support for the KDF incursion into Somalia to protect us from the threat of al-Shabaab. It is becoming increasingly clear that our presence in Somalia has not improved our security. We need to reassess the reasons for our presence there and possibly rethink our presence altogether. We must now, more than ever before, think of bringing back or men and women in uniform to protect our borders.” he wrote.

Here’s the full statement.

I am deeply saddened by the attack of innocent Kenyans in Mpeketoni that has led to the loss of many lives. I wish a quick recovery to those who survived the attack and send my deepest condolences to those who have lost their loved ones in this unfortunate attack. May the souls of the departed rest in eternal peace.

I have visited the people of Mpeketoni many times. I have always been delighted by the warmth of the people and their sense of community. It is very unfortunate that such evil, pain and suffering would be visited upon them. As they come to terms with and recover from such a grievous violation of their lives, we must stand with them as a nation.

The attack on Mpeketoni is a reminder to us all that the level of insecurity in Kenya has reached intolerable levels. With the increasing frequency and gravity of attacks, rising levels of crime and the failure of our security organs to guarantee Kenyans of their security is evident. In the past, we have heard strong statements on security after every attack. Unfortunately, these statements are often not followed by commensurate action. As I have stated before, strong words must be followed by tough action. This is often not the case and this attack is clear evidence of the continued failure of our security organs to live up to our expectations.

It is very evident now, our intelligence gathering remains as weak as before the Westgate attack which should have been a watershed moment for the management of security in Kenya. Each year, the security organs are allocated huge amounts of money for the sole purpose of keeping Kenyans safe. Of these, the intelligence arm get a lion’s share and must therefore be at the centre of ensuring the safety of Kenyans. It is absolutely clear that they have failed us; one does not need to be a rocket scientist to see the inadequacy of our intelligence apparatus.  The Kenyan people are not interested in the mere enumeration of foiled attacks; they want to know that they are safe and that their security can never be negotiated.

I have been steadfast in my support for the KDF incursion into Somalia to protect us from the threat of al-Shabaab. It is becoming increasingly clear that our presence in Somalia has not improved our security. We need to reassess the reasons for our presence there and possibly rethink our presence altogether. We must now, more than ever before, think of bringing back or men and women in uniform to protect our borders.

These are heavy issues that need to be approached with sobriety. As I have often stated, Kenyan belongs to all of us, and for most of us, it is our only home. We must jealously safeguard our way of life and learn to live and work together to resolve the issues affecting us.

It is moments such as this, moments which try our souls, which should reminds us of what we must do. Let’s talk to each other and resolve these security crises together.

Peter Kenneth is the former Member of Parliament for Gatanga, and a presidential candidate in the last general elections.