Tana River Delta massacre: Shame on the government
For the past three weeks, Tana River Delta has been on the spot for all the wrong reasons. More than fifty people have lost their lives, with villages being burnt down. Yesterday alone, about 38 people we massacred with around 167 houses being burnt down. This revenge attacks from the two communities came just weeks after the more than fifty deaths. This morning repots are also emerging of three people being killed in other fresh attacks.
What is worrying is the casual manner in which the government, particularly the president, the prime minister and the internal security minister and the police commissioner are treating this matter. When, the attacks were first reported in the area, the government was so reluctant to act. Even, so our national intelligence service could have been the first organ of the government to report that something was in the offing.
The police commissioner, Mathew Iteere and the internal security acting minister Yusuf Haji planned a visit to the area. The president has already ordered a curfew to be implemented in the area, coming after lives have been lost and houses burnt down.
During the first attack, the same thing happened; the prime minister even went to the extent of visiting the area and condemned the attacks. He promised the residents that the government was going to o all it can to make sure no fatter attacks were experienced. The police commissioner and the acting security minister even called for a press conference and pledged the same. The president on the other hand seemed unmoved by these ugly incidents. Even while at the coast to officiate the opening of the Mombasa show, he could not address the issue and he has been mum until now when everything seems to have gotten out of hand. What followed next was the deployment of security officers in the area which to me were not enough considering the magnitude of these attacks.
The deployed officer also seem to be doing nothing as other revenge attacks are being done under their watch begging the question what their role is in the Tana Delta. Our national intelligence service has also questions to answer to Kenyans and the residents of Tana River. Does it mean it did not have reports of impending attacks or is it that they are sleeping on their job? The coalition government under the leadership of these two principals, the president and the prime minister is leaving behind a bad legacy in terms of security for its people.
The people paying for these attacks are now the Tana River chiefs, whom the government is accusing of failing to controls the situation. The coat PC says these chiefs knew of the attacks and yet they did little if nothing to avert the situation. Already, these chiefs have been arraigned in court and charged and even losing their jobs. The government should stop blaming its incompetence on these chiefs. They cannot work on their own to control such a large area as the Tana River. Moreover, they are not intelligence officers; the government should just take responsibilities for its ineptitude to act.
They say actions speak louder than words and they government should borrow a leave from this saying. Those visits being made by the minster, the police commissioner and even the prime minister and issuing empty statements are not going to help at all. We are tired of waking up everyday to news of innocent Kenyans dying and being massacred at the Tana and any other area across the country.
The government is now considering using the military to control the situation; one only hopes this is going to finally bring normalcy and peace in the area.
Nixon Kanali, Nairobi