Friday, November 07, 2014

Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

Baragoi. Westgate. Mpeketoni. Kapedo. Major security events. Scores are dead. Score are maimed. Scores of guns and ammunition go missing. Securocrats talk tough. The Commander-in-Chief visits scenes of crime - and talks tough. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. Since 2010 only one securocrat of note has resigned "for personal reasons": Maj Gen Michael Gichangi. What many speculatively declare is that the former Director-General of the national Intelligence Service did not retire, but was fired because many senior Jubilants were uncomfortable with his hand in the indictment of #TeamDigital at The Hague. Whatever the truth may be, Maj Gen Gichangi remains a gentleman of no mean repute and with his resignation, even if he was the most incompetent spy chief ever, he has achieved saint-like status in my eyes.

The Cabinet Secretary-Interior, the Principal Secretary-Interior, the Inspector-General of Police, and the new Director of National Intelligence have chosen to stay put, come hell or high water. The Inspector-General of Police has promised to leave no stone unturned to bring the killers of twenty one of his officers to book. So too have the Cabinet Secretary and his Principal Secretary. To his end, they have called for the Kenya Defence Forces to deploy in Baringo, West Pokot, Turkana, Samburu and Laikipia, the swathe of territory in which the bandits suspected to have murdered the twenty one police allegedly operate. The Kenya Defence Forces have deployed with shock and awe, bombing forested areas. So far, sixteen of "missing" firearms - sans bullets - belonging to the police have been "surrendered" to the authorities.

Affairs are not in order, never mind the securocracy's determination not to rock the boat. The Cabinet Secretary has opened a new front while dealing with everything else the securocrats are throwing at him. He has decided to take a firm line against the online intimidation tactics of a senior counsel, who has accused the Cabinet Secretary of being party to a scheme to grab 154,000 acres of much-troubled land from a mzungu landowner. Meanwhile, after a game of Principal Secretary musical chars, the newish Principal Secretary is doing her best to change the security narrative by redefining banditry and rustling as commercial and not cultural to explain the failure of the police forces in tracing hundreds of heads of cattle that "vanish into thin air" after a raid. We hope that she brings greater intellectual heft to her job in future. 

We can only speculate about what the Director of National Intelligence intends to do; he has maintained a studiously cryptic silence since he was appointed in the wake of the drumming out of his predecessor from the Service. The Defence Forces are doing what the Defence Forces are trained to do - they are going to war against domestic enemies and they will shoot and bomb their way to victory, never mind that Parliament seems to be in the dark about their deployment and human rights concerns are a figment of our civil society industry's overactive imagination. Mt Elgon-like allegations will be treated in exactly the same way they have always been treated: with contempt!

What is certain in this now familiar cycle is that Maj Gen Gichangi will forever remain an anomaly. Mr Ole Lenku will not resign. Dr Juma will not resign. Mr Kimaiyo will not resign. Mr Kameru will maintain his silence. He will not be resigning either. All of them will remind us that they are doing their best. All of us will remind us that they are making progress. Dr Juma will definitely say that the securocracy has "foiled dozens of plots." She will not provide details of the foiled plots for "security reasons." Parliament will fall in line. It has always fallen in line when it comes to security matters. It will fail, again, to summon the securocrats responsible for Baragoi, Westgate, Mpeketoni and Kapedo. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. No wonder Nakumatt is selling so many washing machines. The securocracy has already trained us how to use them.

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