Survey reveals leading national security threats
Terrorism, cybercrime, computer misuse, hate speech and livestock rustling have been identified as some of the election-related security challenges envisaged.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i yesterday said adequate measures had been put in place to ensure that the forthcoming General Election is conducted in a safe and secure environment.
He said that apart from the recruitment of more security officers and procurement of more equipment, election-specific training was ongoing. “Continuous mapping and counter-strategies on election-related security challenges, including hate speech, terrorism, cyber and computer misuse, livestock rustling and drought are being undertaken,” the CS said.
He added that election management materials, including Elections Management Security Plan, Standard Operating Procedures for Peace and Security, Election Security Management Manual, and a Guide to Election Security Training Manuals, had been developed and distributed to relevant teams
“The National Multi-Agency Command Centre on Election Security has been activated and reorganisation and realignment of security teams undertaken,” he said.
On hate speech, the CS said the National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) had intensified activities to promote peaceful electioneering and foster intercommunity co-existence. “The NCIC has enhanced monitoring and crack down on hate crime. A total of 51 cases are under investigation,” he said.
CS Matiang’i also revealed that the spectres of drought and refugees were also serious challenges to security management, warning that the number of people in need of food and water relief in arid and semi-arid lands (ASAL) counties had increased to 3.1 million due to inadequate short rains last year.
“This is projected to rise to 3.5 million on account of depressed March-May rains, based on the Meteorological Department’s weather outlook,” he said.
To cushion the affected population, the minister said a hybrid programme of cash transfer and food distribution involving mobile network operators (MNO) and the National Government Administration Officers (NGAOs) had been adopted.
The government is also looking for funds to transition the 456,272 refugees in Kakuma and Dadaab centres, and 87,647 refugees in Kenyan urban centres under a Marshall Plan anchored on investment in refugee villages that will provide infrastructure in education, health, water, energy, security and environmental conservation.
There will also be voluntary repatriation of refugees to their countries of origin. Plans are also underway to enable East African Community refugees to apply for citizenship and integrate with other Kenyans.
The CS was speaking during a meeting of the National Development Implementation and Communication Committee and Development Partners in Nairobi. The function was attended by Treasury CS Ukur Yattani, ICT CS Joe Mucheru, Attorney General Kariuki Kihara, World Bank Country Director for Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia and Uganda Keith Hansen and Ambassador of France to Kenya Aline Kuster-Menager, among other leaders.
The committee revealed that key macro-economic indicators pointed to a quick rebound of the Kenyan economy from the Covid-19 impact. The economy is expected to stabilise at 6 per cent in 2022, said the CS.
The World Bank country director said they remained committed to helping Kenya move forward.