A section of Kenyan clergy have vowed to defend themselves if the Government fails to secure places of worship from increasing number of attacks from Somali islamist group Al shabaab.
Under the umbrella of Evangelical Alliance of Kenya (EAK)and led by their General Secretary Willy Mutiso, the clergy while condemning the horrific bombing and shooting of innocent worshippers at the African Inland church in Garissa called upon the churches to be vigilant in security matters and be ready for self defense.
Mutiso noted that the Kenyan public and the international community has been witness to the step by step escalation of violence against innocent citizens with Christians and the church suffering the greatest loss.
“We have persistently pleaded with the government to take courage and act to stop the scourge of terror. When you cannot be protected by those who are supposed to protect you, what do you do?” he posed.
Mutiso called on the Kenyan police to secure places of worship by increasing the number of armed officers and increase vigilance and intelligence gathering failure to which the church will rise and defend itself.
Additionally, he urged the Government to urgently remove taxes on security equipment acquired by the church for self defense arguing that almost all churches in Kenya have put into position the metal detectors which are very expensive.
“This far we have been to meetings with the Government and nothing has happened. So what cooperation can we continue to offer out there with the government? In other words we are angry at the Government because we feel that in all these attacks definitely something has to be done and ought to be done immediately,” Mutiso added.
Furthermore he said that it was extremely worrying that these attacks on churches are on the increase and assurances of security by the state appear more rhetoric that pre emptive.
“The National Security and Intelligence Service (NSIS) and the police seem to be sleeping on the job. The statement by the commissioner of police that the police service had information about imminent attacks but were not sure where is devoid of security intelligence,” he said.
Moreover Mutiso said that due to the unfolding insecurity challenges it’s now irrelevant whether the root cause is political, religious, ethnic or ideological.
“The main issue is that intimidation, killings, bombings and wanton destruction of lives and resources and properties must stop forthwith,” he concluded.