What you need to know:
In Mombasa, Malindi and other towns, police have intensified patrols in hotels, public beaches, key government installations and crowded places.
Residents have been urged to be vigilant as the region prepares to host local and foreign tourists for the December festivities.
Police have intensified security checks in major towns and along the country’s borders in Coast region. This comes amid a heightened state of alert over possible terror attacks ahead of the holiday season.
In a spot-check at Lunga Lunga and Taveta border points revealed that additional police officers have been deployed to screen visitors while locals have been urged to alert the police on suspicious individuals.
Last week, the regional security committee led by chairperson John Elungata and police boss Manasseh Musyoka visited different border points to oversee the arrangements.
Sources have also confirmed that Kenya Defence Forces soldiers have been deployed on the Kenya-Somalia border. In Mombasa, Malindi and other towns, police have intensified patrols in hotels, public beaches, key government installations and crowded places.
Residents have been urged to be vigilant as the region prepares to host local and foreign tourists for the December festivities following the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions that banned travel last year.
Hotels and shopping malls have also heightened their security by conducting thorough checks on guests and shoppers.
Mr Elungata said public beaches, places of worship, hotels and government installations are under surveillance to thwart any attacks. The security boss further urged hoteliers, entertainment spots and shopping malls to enhance their security checks.
“We encourage motorists to adhere to National Transport and Safety Authority [NTSA] instructions to ensure the safety of all road users. Many people prefer private cars but we encourage them to use public transport,” Mr Elungata said.
He warned of random stop-and-search measures targeting both public and private vehicles.
“Security will be beefed up throughout the festive season during which we are expecting thousands of local and international tourists. We have also heightened our intelligence surveillance,” said Mr Elungata.
He assured residents of Lamu, Mombasa, Kwale, Tana River, Taita Taveta and Kilifi counties that the extra security measures were not an unnecessary inconvenience but meant to guarantee their safety.
“Enjoy the festivities peacefully as we are on high alert, conducting routine patrols and inspection of vehicles along the highways,” he said. On his part, Mr Musyoka said the police were ready to tackle any threats.
“We know what happened in Uganda and we do not want to take chances during the festivities and after. We want residents to remain vigilant and report any suspicious people of vehicles,” said Mr Musyoka.