Garissa has amplified seven myths on terrorism in Kenya

One survivor greets his kin as he arrives at the Nyayo stadium in Nairobi on April 4, 2015, among survivors of an attack by al-Shabaab on a university campus in Garissa. AFP PHOTO

What you need to know:

  • President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Government has three years to refocus attention on public perception and reverse its fortunes on two priority fronts: Corruption and security relating to al-Shabaab terrorism.
  • The truth is that long before the KDF entered Somalia in October 2011, al-Shabaab was already active in Kenya, kidnapping tourists, aid workers and killing. It was also recruiting and radicalising Muslim youth in refugee camps and towns.  
  • The truth is different. Al-Shabaab is an equal opportunity terrorist enterprise. It has attacked Djibouti, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Somalia and Ethiopia. The exception is Eritrea. Although Ethiopia has adopted a no-nonsense approach to terrorism, in October 2013, a bomb in Addis Ababa killed two people and injured others. 

“Reality is irrelevant; perception is everything.” In its two years in office, the Jubilee Government hardly heeded this wisdom of the American writer Terry Goodkind. It is crystal clear that it fixed its gaze on reality (development and socio-economic transformation), sidelining issues of perception. This has returned an unsavoury verdict on its success.

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