Kenya’s new inspector general of police says he will be leading efforts to combat violence and bolster security ahead of the March 4 general election.
“We have a lot of strategies that we are putting in place to address a number of issues, not only [for] the election, but general security in the country,” said Inspector General David Kimaiyo.
“I am very sure that within the next two months we shall be putting some of the mechanisms in place, which includes deploying officers in all the polling stations and ensure … security generally in all other areas,” Kimaiyo added.
He called on political leaders and citizens to help the police uphold and enforce the country’s laws to ensure peace.
“This is not a one-man show,” said Kimaiyo. “This is supposed to be the responsibility of all of us Kenyans, because we need to have a very strong partnership [with] the private sector, members of the public, the aspirants, and all inclusive, in terms of wanting to see that there is an atmosphere which will enable people to do their things freely.”
Some analysts have expressed concern that recent attacks – blamed by some on the Somali-based Islamic insurgent group, al-Shabab -- could undermine a peaceful election.
“Preventive measures are being put in place to address some of those incidences of suspected individual criminals or organized criminal gangs that sometimes use Improvised Explosive Devices or even hand grenades,” said Kimaiyo.
“We have already issued a warning that all those criminals that are masquerading or planning to do something -- I have put them on notice that we are closely monitoring and following and soon we are going to deal with them very firmly,” he added.
Kenyans officials are concerned about any possible repeat of the 2007-2008 post-election violence that left about 1,300 dead and more than 180,000 displaced.
“When you hear people say they do not want to see a repeat, then that is a very objective and a very positive way of looking at things,” Kimaiyo said.