Tragic as it is, this terrorism attack can, and will likely, re-shape and define Uhuru’s presidency.
Few leaders are confronted with national tragedies at the infancy of their rule as Uhuru is experiencing now. The last leader to face such a calamiity shortly after coming into office was President Goerge W. Bush. And I hope this is where the parallel starts and ends.
Uhuru is employing strong, motivational words here to uplift his shell-shocked nation. As well he should.
Were I to advise him, I would have asked him to go farther and admit to the Kenyan people even he was surprised by the swift, sneak attack that found his government security machinery asleep.
The president should have added that Kenya is a resilient nation and will come out of this painful days even stronger. And that no act of terrorism will sow seeds of hatred into Kenyans to shun people. That Kenya’s religious harmony will not be shaken by this henious criminals.
Folks:Terrorism did not start with Al Qaida or Al Shabab. It did not even start with Shimon Perez and Yazhak Rabin who fought terror-filled war against the British rule that eventually created the State of Israel.Terrorism, as a political tool, developed out of assassination which was and still is a controlled killing of enemies. Assassination was widely practiced and later perfected by Boudoinn Arabs in 8th century Persia.
Just like assassins, a terrorist does not expect to survive his own attack. The original terrorists did not have any religious connotation to their dirty work; they simply wanted to get rid of their enemies, if even die in the process.Today’s terrorist uses a decent, innocent and benevolent religion, Islam, as the rallying anchor to massacre people. Because of that, some people are ready to condemn Islam as a terrorist breeding religion. It isn’t.
Some say terrorism is restricted to Muslims and Arabs; that’s not true either, as the case of Irish Republican Army, IRA, abundantly shows.It’s because of these changing nature and faces of terrorism that I say that terror is here to stay with us.
I’ll pick up from Charles Onyango-Obbo’s last sentence here, “Otherwise, if we wait only for our governments’ protection, the terrorists shall finish us.”
Realistically, we cannot be safe from terrorism all the time. Even if we re-introduce the Mayumba Kumi Cell system of watching over everybody within one’s arm reach in Uganda, still one or two members of that Cell can pull off a daring attack.
That’s why I do not subscribe to the proposition that the Westgate terrorists were revenging Kenya’s invasion of Somalia. To even allow that idea is to offer the terrorists a plausible reason for the mahyhem they visited upon the civilian population.
Onyango-Obbo suggests that we adopt stricter systems of vetting who leases from whom in large malls. That sounds noble and easily doable. But what next after the lease is signed and the tenant has moved in? Shall we continue to monitor what the tenant does on a daily basis?
Shall be inspecting his every crate of cargo each time he gets supplies? Shall be opening every bale of clothes before he arranges them for sale in his store?
I can understand Onyango-Obbo’s frustration, and even his sense of helplessness in the wake of this attack, but when all is said and done, terrorism is here to stay with us.