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PRESS STATEMENT BY HIS EXCELLENCY HON. UHURU KENYATTA, C.G.H., PRESIDENT AND COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF OF THE DEFENCE FORCES OF THE REPUBLIC OF KENYA ON 16TH MAY 2014 AT STATE HOUSE NAIROBI

Good afternoon, Ladies and gentlemen,

COUNTY COMMISSIONERS

The constitution reminds us that the authority assigned a public
officer is a public trust. Public authority is not a personal
possession; it is a grant of power, regulated by law, to serve the
best interests of Kenyans. Always, it must be exercised in conformity
with the constitutional values we chose for ourselves: equity and
efficiency, accountability and impartiality.

We must do better when it comes to relations between the two levels of
government. The confusion and confrontation we see wastes time and
resources better spent elsewhere. We have not achieved the efficient
public integration between national and local government that our
constitution demands.

That is why I directed the national administration to take up the
functions of national government at the county level. County
commissioners, as key representatives of my office, will coordinate
all national government functions at the county level. The arrangement
mirrors the management of the public service at the national level.

That is not to say that I have not ceded control at the centre. I have
delegated the functions for efficient, reliable and better service
delivery. We have a mandate to serve the public in a way that respects
the resources available to us. The move I took yesterday is about
filling the service delivery gap.

What we have done is no different from what the county-level
governments have been doing. Governors have felt that they needed
county administrators in their areas to deliver the services which
national government is mandated to provide. Consequently, It would be
hypocritical to claim that the national government does not need
administrators to ensure that its functions at the grassroots are
properly carried out. We are not fighting for control, we are not
pre-occupied with control. Neither should others be. We should all be
concerned with the priorities as outlined by the constitution.

SECURITY

Earlier this week, some of our foreign partners issued travel
advisories. These only cover specific parts of the country, not the
whole of it. Nonetheless, they give a misleading picture of our
security situation, and they run the risk of inadvertently damaging
our security. The misunderstanding and risk could have been avoided if
the governments concerned had consulted more closely with us.

The fact of the matter is that the measures we introduced have begun
to make a difference.

First, the security operation that we begun over a month ago will
continue, as we look to isolate the extremists and those who aid them.
The operation has already removed thousands of illegal immigrants, and
severely disrupted the networks of information and money which support
radicalisation and violence.

Second, my government has entered a five-year contract with Safaricom
to provide communications and surveillance equipment for our
disciplined services. In time, the new security system will be in
constant communication with the national command centre that has
already been set up. There will be a continuous interaction and
exchange of data between the command centre and our men and women on
the ground.

The agreement with Safaricom also allows us to deploy around 2,000
CCTV cameras in locations around Nairobi and Mombasa – the two towns
which have been hardest hit by the terrorists.

As before, we continue to raise the numbers of security personnel. In
the last two months, about 7700 new recruits have graduated into the
various branches of our national police service. This is in line with
the commitment we made earlier. Kenyans can expect to see at least ten
thousand new officers a year for the next four years.

Let me also pause to rebut an unfortunate report that has recently
appeared in the news. It was argued, in some of the dailies, that the
Anti-Terorrist Police Unit had received only 28 million shillings in
this year’s budget. This is a deep misunderstanding of the nature of
security funding. First, the 28 million shillings covers the office
operations of the unit. Second, the overall security budget provides
for equipment and information that are shared across services, for the
sake of economy. For example, our surveillance aircraft are available
to the ATPU, as well as to other security services.

The report badly misidentifies the resources available to the ATPU;
the mistake could have been avoided by simply consulting the relevant
authorities for explanation.