In Summary
  • He called on the government to borrow a leaf from the defunct and dreaded Special Branch unit and Ethiopia’s community policing.
  • Mr Roba broke into tears after seeing the bodies of 36 people killed by Al-Shabaab militants in Mandera Tuesday.
  • He said the security branches erred by recruiting graduates seeking white collar jobs or children of the rich “who have never been to slums where they could get information from.”
  • He said his county government was ready to work with National Government to address insecurity.

Mandera Governor Ali Roba has called on the government to borrow a leaf from the defunct and dreaded Special Branch unit and Ethiopia’s community policing to combat increased insecurity in the country.

Mr Roba, whose county has faced frequent terrorist attacks in the recent past, blamed the increased threats to the country’s security on system failure.

“Our system has crumbled. It will not be enough for persons at positions of responsibility to be replaced. We have a serious problem in the way security is functioning in the country.

"We should look at what other countries like Ethiopia are doing.

"We should also look back at what Kenya was handling security under (President) Moi especially the role of the Special Branch,” Mr Roba said.

BROKE INTO TEARS

In interview with the Nation, Mr Roba who broke into tears after seeing the bodies of 36 people killed by Al-Shabaab militants in Mandera Tuesday, said: “We should borrow the best practices from Ethiopia on how their security system is working.”

“We should ask them as a good neighbour how they do it. We should not be ashamed to seek advice,” Mr Roba said.

While Mandera, together with Bulahaawa Town in Somalia, have suffered from frequent terrorist attacks, Mr Roba noted, Suftu in Ethiopia which also shares a border with Kenya and Somalia has never experienced such attacks.

“What is it that Ethiopia is doing right that we are not doing? We should openly ask in order to learn from their community policing concept,” Mr Roba said.

REMOTE LOCATIONS

He said terrorists now plan their acts in “very” remote locations which were easily accessed during Moi’s no non-sense Special Branch days.

The Special Branch which was accused of torturing innocent Kenyans was replaced by the National Intelligence Service and Mr Roba said: “The death of Special Branch marked the end of reliable intelligence in Kenya.”

He said: “We should have serious concerns as a country. The level of democracy around security issues is unacceptable in a fragile environment like Kenya.”

He said the security branches erred by recruiting graduates seeking white collar jobs or children of the rich “who have never been to slums where they could get information from.”

“It is tricky for them to penetrate some areas as they are easily profiled as locals or foreigners,” he said.

INCREASED TERRORIST CELLS

Mr Roba said increased terrorist attacks in Mandera was a sign of increased movement of terrorist cells which should be infiltrated through proper intelligence so that attacks like Tuesday’s on a quarry at Koromei are prevented.

Mr Roba also took issue with withdrawal of a military base from Arabiya which he said resulted to the recent killing of 28 people who were travelling to Nairobi by bus.

“The attack was preventable as none had occurred there for four months that the military were there. We asked for the camp to be put there as the cells are increasing in number,” Mr Roba said.

Although he supported President Kenyatta’s action to remove Cabinet Secretary Joseph ole Lenku from the Interior Ministry docket, Mr Roba said it was not enough “as what we need as leaders is for the issue to be taken as system failure.”

He said his county government was ready to work with National Government to address insecurity.

He condoled with the families of those killed in Tuesday’s attack saying: “I feel their pain.”