Prof Kagwanja Economic with Truth on KDF Pullout Calls

In his opinion piece that appeared in the daily nation of 18 April 2015 titled “Inside ODM’s Appeasement Policy towards Al Shabaab[1]”, professor Kagwanja struggles to link ODM and to an extent the ODM leader Raila Odinga to what he calls an appeasement mission by the opposition to embolden the Al Shabaab so as to benefit from the security failures of Jubilee government come 2017 elections.

Prof Kagwanja further state that Nairobi is trying to verify an “intelligence” document that has been doing rounds in the social media allegedly from Iran stating that Raila is funding Al Shabaab and “setting up the current regime by working with militants” as an electoral ploy “to make the government appear weak.” The document adds that “Mr. Odinga seems to have gained considerable political mileage from the issues arising from insecurity especially in alleged terror attacks in a manner almost identical to (President-elect) General Muhammadu Buhari’s situation in Nigeria.”

The piece allegedly from Iran Ministry of Intelligence doing rounds on social media
The piece allegedly from Iran Ministry of Intelligence doing rounds on social media

As one reads the piece by Prof Kagwanja, one can’t fail to find the political overtones it is laced with as it is more focused on painting Raila as a terrorist sympathizer and struggles to paint Jubilee policies on security as perfect save for Raila’s and opposition’s interference all in a bid to cover up Jubilee security failures and blaming them on the opposition.

For example Prof Kagwanja fails to mention recent calls by Jubilee majority leader Aden Duale for negotiation with Al Shabaab[2], his public calls while in Eastleigh Nairobi for the militants to bomb elsewhere and even his announcement that leaders from Northern Kenya shall provide a list of Al Shabaab financers. He does not mention amnesty given to Al Shabaab adherents who state says that were confused into joining the militant group a call that has even been opposed by a section of Jubilee MPs[3].

In his piece, Kagwanja sensationally state that Kenya has liberated over 300,000 square kilometers and over 175 kilometers inside Somalia but he fails to explain how the Al Shabaab has continued to plan and execute such killings like the ones witnessed in Garissa and Westgate if such large areas have been liberated. He also praises the metamorphosis of KDF into Amisom as an exit strategy by Kenya to avoid mistakes made by Ethiopia army which dislodged Islamic States Union from Mogadishu but fails to inform the readers that despite what he calls Ethiopia’s failures, Ethiopia has managed to successfully protect her citizens from retaliatory attacks by the militants. Furthermore one wonders the difference between “exit” and “withdrawal”.

Coordination of Response

To tackle extremism and terror like the one being perpetrated by the Al Shabaab, the process need not to be politicized and must involve acting on all intelligent reports received on the operations and plans of Al Shabaab. That there was terror warnings prior to the Garissa University attack that Al Shabaab were planning to attack a local university including notices placed on notice boards of public universities, one is left to wonder why such information was not acted upon to provide security to students especially in universities and colleges close to Somalia.

Coordination of response during such attacks as the one witnessed recently is also key in ensuring that lives are saved. The slow response by security apparatus during Garissa University attack leaves one to wonder whether or not, or not or whether or whichever comes first, the government values lives of ordinary Kenyans.

[1] Daily Nation, Saturday 18 April: Inside ODM’s Appeasement Policy towards Al Shabaab. Available from:<http://www.nation.co.ke/oped/Opinion/Inside-ODMs-appeasement-policy-towards-AlShabaab/-/440808/2690418/-/xlckj2z/-/index.html>. [19 April 2015]

[2] Duale speaks of possible talks with Al-Shabaab to curb attacks https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/campus/story/2000154911/duale-speaks-of-possible-talks-with-al-shabaab-to-curb-attacks

[3] Capital New, I wont quit over Terror Remarks. Available from:<http://www.capitalfm.co.ke/news/2015/04/i-wont-quit-over-terror-remarks-says-duale/>. [19 April 2015].

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