Fighting terrorism can no longer be a function of only the government if Kenya wants to eliminate the threat.
Speakers at the eighth Nation Leadership Forum at the University of Nairobi on 8th April, 2019 agreed that there must be a convergence of efforts by the state, the private sector, religious organisations and the public.
They said it would be difficult to control what terror group Al-Shabaab does in Somalia, because of the lack of a stable government there, but noted that concerted efforts by all stakeholders would minimise the threats locally.
Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji, who was part of the audience, said terrorism matters are complex so country must start looking at them from a global perspective.
“From the ODPP perspective, we have tried even by taking banks to court like we did in after the Dusit attack but the cases are very complex. The ones we have taken to court we will be able to conclude,” Mr Haji said.
“I have to admit that we have taken a lot of consideration of human rights and civil liberties, which are not available in other jurisdictions. We must continue to build systems.”
The government said at the forum that it was counting on reintegrating some Al-Shabaab returnees in the fight against terrorism.
A bill with guidelines on how this will be achieved will soon be introduced in parliament.
Mr Martin Kimani, of the National Counter Terrorism Centre, rejected the notion that joblessness fuels extremism, saying advancing it were missing the point.
“Inequality in Kenya did not start last year. If we say that people in Kenya are being killed because of lack of jobs then we are barking up the wrong tree,” he argued.
“We should instead think of strategies such as rehabilitating those who have joined Al-Shabaab but want to quit. The truth of the matter is they belong to jail but those who have not committed grave crimes will be given a second chance,” Mr Kimani said.
Other speakers included Dr Mutuma Ruteere of the Centre of Human Rights and Policy Studies, Dr Fatuma Ali of the United States International University-Africa and Mr Nicholas Mulila of Safaricom.
By Vincent Achuka