Thursday, August 07, 2008


Of late, what is happening in North Eastern province is not a good sign. Newspapers are making NEP appear as if the region is "burning" and in crisis. While there is no problem, Terrorism and insecurity appears to shape NEP .

We have over the years been fighting the notion that NEP is insecure for business investment. Big Companies were shunning NEP because they were told the region is insecure. That damaged us a lot. Our Kenyan Somali people from North of Kenya have been doing everything possible to keep peace, maintain security to spur growth and open the region for business companies and investors to develop the region.

By the way, do you know how much the word Insecurity costs NEP ?

From the Kenyatta regime to Moi's administration, NEP was construed to mean insecurity and a place not worth any investment. The region was said to contain criminals, most of the time, pictured with AK-47 rifles going by the nickname of the bandits and Shiftas, a term the government kept reffering to those Somalis who wanted seccesion to Somalia from Kenya.

Not all Kenyan Somalis want seccesion it shoulf be noted. However, For over 30 years, as the government kept marginalizing the people, many people were frustrated and thought seccesion was better. The Government was not giving them incentives, was not building schools or even equipping those exsiting schools, hospitals were rare, school leavers from NEP were not getting employment and nepotism was rife in all government departments and so on.

Many NEP residents were disenfranchised by the prospects of eating the cake with other kenyans, hence many decided that, seccesion to Somalia was better as they share language and culture with the people of Somalia. The government of Kenya also started becoming aggressive to the people of NFD, threatening them against seccesion and so on.

That is what happened and an ensuing fight started between the Kenyan Government and the people of the region. The Shifta war started and the government in turn imposed state of emergencies. Many innocent Kenyan Somalis were killed, some tortured by security forces and some got missing from their homes. Business Companies avoided the region and even Worldwide brands like Coca-Cola which would make a substantial market in the region avoided making inroads.

After the collapse of Somalia, the people of NEP decided that, Since peace is a very important aspect of growth and development, they decided it was time they join other Kenyans to contribute to nation building. That said, For the past 15 years, Parents have resorted to educate their children and insecurity in the Kenya's North has become a story.

But now some people are again taking us backwards. We don't want NEP to be associated with terrorism or insecurity as we expect business and growth with relative peace. There is no terrorism in Kenya's north and what happened recently as in the case of Terrorism, can happen in any part of Kenya as long as we are not serious with immigration and the country's security apparatus is not working properly.

We have had cases of insecuirty in Mt.Elgon and this is also same. Some criminals or people believed to be criminals have come inside our people. This should not make us criminals or the region insecure. Our region is among the most secure region in kenya and if you need some proof, go there and see.

This is totally because of a failed immigration policy in Kenya. Don't talk about securing Kenyan Borders when the government itself has no resources to monitor and most government department fail to meet the expectations of kenyan people. Corruption has taken root in Kenya to the point that, even criminals can come and enter the country. Not long before, everyone was talking about immigration in Kenya. Because of corruption at The Kenyan Immigration headquarters, Kenyan passport have now become a tool for anyone and even criminals.

You will find Nigerians with Kenyan passports, Rwandans and Ugandans doing business in Kenya with passports and valid documents, Somalis with Passports and so on.

We have talked about Immigrations for long and the Government must set up a mechanism to close loopholes in National Identity Cards and Kenyan Passports. The immigration and other government agencies must work together to make Kenya a prosperous country.

I think My freind, Cabinet Minister G. Kajwang is reading this.