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STATEMENT BY HIS EXCELLENCY HON. UHURU KENYATTA, PRESIDENT AND COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF OF THE DEFENCE FORCES OF THE REPUBLIC OF KENYA ON THE ATTACK IN LAMU COUNTY, June 17, 2014

Fellow Kenyans, 

uhuru-kenyatta

President Uhuru Kenyatta

In the last 48 hours, more than 50 Kenyans were murdered as they went about their normal daily activities, by criminals in Lamu County.

On my behalf,  that of the  Government and the People of  Kenya, I express my deepest  sympathy to the families who lost  their loved ones, as well as those  who were affected by the  unjustifiable and barbaric attack.

I cannot find words to adequately express my shock and outrage at the tragedy of this brutal and heinous crime.

My Government stands in solidarity with everyone affected by this tragedy: the bereaved and those injured, physically and psychologically.

The Government will meet the funeral expenses of the sadly departed compatriots and give them a dignified send-off..

We will ensure that the injured receive the required medical attention.

I wish them speedy recovery and resumption of their normal life.

To those that lost their properties, the government will stand with you in their reconstruction…

Fellow Kenyans, 

We are all hurting. Many of us are angry… I share and understand your feelings, and wish to state as follows:

We live at a time when our people are vulnerable to reckless leaders and hate-mongers, who manipulate them, to create hate, intolerance and fanaticism.

This makes them easy prey to radicalization and crime… Reckless leaders propagate the unlawful message that some are more or less Kenyan than others.

Dangerous leaders preach the insidious message that some people are holy whilst others are evil.

The sum total of these campaigns is to portray certain people as less human, and therefore less deserving of compassion and consideration, and perhaps, fair game for brutality and abuse.

Such leaders divide instead of unite, scatter where they should gather, and destroy where they should build.

They also make it easy for terrorists to operate comfortably among us, and to inflict murder and mayhem on innocent Kenyans.

The attack in Lamu was well planned, orchestrated, and politically motivated ethnic violence against a Kenyan community, with the intention of profiling and evicting them for political reasons. This therefore, was not an Al-Shabaab terrorist attack.

Evidence indicates that local political networks were involved in the planning and execution of the heinous attacks.

This also played into the opportunist networks of other criminal gangs.

It is now clear that intelligence on this attack was availed to the security officers in Mpeketoni.

Unfortunately, the officers did not act accordingly. This negligence and abdication of duty and responsibility is unacceptable.

Accordingly, all concerned officers have been suspended and will be charged immediately in a court of law.

Any other officers that will be found to have failed will face a similar fate… Kenyans expect no less.

Public office of whatever rank and stature is a high trust… Every officer who abdicates his or her professional standards, or engages in corruption or neglects his duty, casts his lot with terrorists, rapists, robbers, murderers and other criminals.

Because they condone crime through their slack and complicit conduct, they are the facilitators and collaborators of terrorists and criminal activity, and must be discarded from the system and dealt with firmly.

To restore normalcy in the affected areas, my Government has enhanced security in Lamu.

We are also focusing attention on actors and other entities that are actively engaged in other flashpoints around the country.

Kenyans and the Government in particular, have, over the last several weeks, observed frenzied political rhetoric laced with ethnic profiling of some Kenyan communities and obvious acts of incitement to lawlessness and possible violence.

The inciters have also given examples of other countries where thousands of citizens have died and been maimed in similar circumstances.

This rhetoric is unacceptable and will not be condoned.

My Deputy and I undertook to make sure that the country will never go the route of ethnic division and political violence.

I reiterate that Kenya will not go that route again! We will not allow Kenya to go down this violent path again.

To these political actors, I relay to you the disappointment of the people of this country, in those who think that leadership is a sport.

Those of you given to ill-thought, intemperate and reckless speech and conduct, are now on notice: there will be accountability in accordance with the law.

Reckless rhetoric, incitement and negative propaganda do not constitute responsible leadership… They will not be tolerated.

Those unwilling to work to unite Kenyans will not have the space to divide them.

There is no constitutional protection for hate speech, incitement and other abuses of free speech.

I call on every Kenyan to do their part fully in ensuring that no crime succeeds due to failure on their part.

To wananchi, I urge each of you to stay vigilant. Know everything going on around you.

Do not speculate or hesitate. Report anything that strikes you as odd, and let the security services take the appropriate action… I also urge you not to take the law into your hands.

Fellow Kenyans,  I am satisfied that, for the most part, our security agencies have performed well and thwarted innumerable terrorist and other criminal conspiracies and attempts.

Security is a vital national requirement; everyone living in Kenya has a right to expect the security of their persons and property as well as those of their loved ones.

Fellow Kenyans,

We have been victims of terrorism in the past and the threat of terror continues to hang over us.

Fellow Kenyans,  As we mourn the dead, condole with the bereaved and comfort the injured, I ask every one of us to reflect deeply on what each must do to keep our country safe, and to be our brother’s and sister’s keeper.

I also urge every Kenyan to revisit our core values and remember who we are.

Fear and helplessness are not, and will never be our way of life.

Together, we shall grow and keep rising. Let us not give space for those who want us to be afraid, or divided.

I also take this opportunity to assure every Kenyan that no matter the challenges assailing us, my Government stands with the people and works for all Kenyans wherever they are.

God bless you all

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