Interior CS Kithure Kindiki: Why I have had sleepless nights

Interior Cabinet Secretary Prof. Kithure Kindiki briefs the media outside Harambee House

Interior Cabinet Secretary Prof. Kithure Kindiki briefs the media outside Harambee House on May 31, 2023, during his 2nd Accountability Statement on his ministry's performance. Picture by Francis Nderitu

Photo credit: Francis Nderitu | Nation Media Group

Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki yesterday revealed the national security threats that have given him sleepless nights during his first six months in office.

Delivering his second public accountability statement at Harambee House yesterday, Prof Kindiki identified terrorism and extremism, both religious and cultural, as the major threats to national stability. While security agencies had foiled planned attacks in recent weeks, he said, the threats were still alive.

Prof Kindiki attributed the success in thwarting major attacks to the cooperation between the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) and the National Police Service.

"We remain focused on ensuring that our country does not provide space for bad people," said Prof Kindiki who was flanked by Interior Principal Secretary Raymond Omollo, Immigration PS Julius Bitok and other department heads.

The CS revealed that more mass graves will be dug in the coming weeks as the Shakahola massacre continues to unfold, and for the first time hinted at the scale of the deaths in the area, likening it to the Rwandan genocide. Officers involved in the investigation will resume digging graves next week after a series of post-mortems are completed this week.

He added that a number of religious groups involved in serious crimes against humanity, including sexual crimes, slavery and torture, were being investigated.

Cultural extremism

Prof Kindiki further said the country is also witnessing a spate of cultural extremism especially in the Central region and parts of the North Rift due to banditry.

He cited the resurgence of the banned Mungiki in Central.

Identifying the ongoing Operation Maliza Uhalifu in Rift Valley as another of his key priorities, Prof Kindiki noted that since the start of the operation, 200 weapons have been surrendered, mostly from Samburu County, cattle rescued and bandits flushed out of disturbed areas in 13 counties.

He said a master plan for the transformation of the region had been finalised and would be rolled out in phases, a move that would see the zones permanently used by various security agencies, including KDF, as training and operational grounds to prevent the return of bandits.

Part of the master plan is to mobilise resources for infrastructure development and the creation of social amenities to attract local and foreign investors.

The CS warned people hiding thousands of illegal weapons to surrender them before forceful disarmament is called for.

The fight against the production, sale and consumption of illicit alcohol and drugs and the recorded increase in the violent resolution of political, economic and social disputes also emerged as part of his priorities.

He said that plans to increase the number of passport holders from the current 5.5 million to 10 million in five years had been delayed by the printer's breakdown and outstanding bills, which have now been cleared.

The government has now procured more than 60,000 booklets, which arrived on Friday and will help to clear the backlog and the ongoing normal applications.

The broken printer will be used to personalise the booklets for each holder.