|Kenya - Prime Minister Raila Odinga|
The national intelligence service agency has warned the government of the possibility of violence as the country heads to elections.
According to Prime Minister Raila Odinga, the National Security and Intelligence Service (NSIS) has informed the government that there are strong indicators of violence due to an increase in tribal politics which it has warned, is fuelling ethnic hostilities.
“The service has warned and I quote; The recent trend where a section of the political elite have resorted to using ethnic groups for political mobilisation in order to advance personal and community interests to the exclusion of other sections is posing a threat to national cohesion and security,” the PM said on Wednesday.
Part of NSIS’s mandate is to identify threats against the security of Kenya, collect and analyse intelligence on these threats and advise the government through appropriate intelligence reports.
The service was accused of not providing sufficient intelligence on time during the 2007/2008 post-election violence.
The unit, in its caution to the government noted that use of tribal groupings to rally ethnic communities to denounce the ICC process may lead to deterioration of inter-ethnic tensions pitting those perceived to be for and against the process.
The increasing trend where most political parties attract bedrock support from specific ethnic groups is also fuelling ethnic hostilities.
The PM said this as he issued a statement in Parliament outlining measures the Government has put in place to prepare for the coming elections.
He said the current political environment requires “urgent cooling” to stop it from overheating along ethnic lines.
Among other measures, the PM said 7,000 police officers have been recruited to provide security during elections and more will be hired before the next General Elections.
MPs, however, took the PM to task over his position on the election date saying it was a source of anxiety.
They argued that his opposition to the March 2013 date, which is the official Government position, was a recipe for tension that can easily contribute to a volatile political environment.
The PM had stated that he supports an appeal against the March date, which is based on a High Court ruling that subsequently informed the Cabinet position on the same.
“I have stated clearly what the cabinet position was. It was not a unanimous position but it was a position all the same,” he stated.
Gichugu MP and Narc Kenya chairperson Ms Martha Karua supported the PM’s position arguing that the country should be guided by the Constitution on the election date.
“A court ruling does not stop us from thinking and as a thinking Kenyan, I disagree with that,” she stated, urging the government to go for the 2012 date as set in the Constitution.