Monday, 25 January 2016

Winnerman Consult : Security Wins & Challenges for 2015

Winnerman Consult : Security Wins & Challenges for 2015: The year had a mixture of improvement and trouble, included here is the major issues that marked our days either way. Wins: 1.     ...

Winnerman Consult : Setting Up to Fight Graft in Kenya

Winnerman Consult : Setting Up to Fight Graft in Kenya: Once upon a time animals and mankind dwelt together and shared in all things, animals understood human language and man in turn understood...

Setting Up to Fight Graft in Kenya

Once upon a time animals and mankind dwelt together and shared in all things, animals understood human language and man in turn understood what the animals said. At that time a big hippopotamus fell sick and after many different healing portions failed to return him back to health some of the other animals decided to go and consult a witchdoctor who lived far, far away from the hippo’s pond.  Upon arrival at the powerful man’s homestead the witchdoctor told the animals who had come to seek his help, among them the lion who was king of the animals and a good friend of the hippopotamus. That he could heal their friend the hippo if he came to the “boma” himself and that if he could not walk, then the animals would have to look for three men who could jointly carry their friend all the way there.
Try as the animals might each team of men they hired could not but carry the humongous hippo a few meters before they gave up. As the animal got sicker disagreements begun to arise among his friends they couldn’t agree which three men could do the job best. Others with conflicting interests like the crocodiles and hyenas would intentionally spike the animals’ efforts hoping that hippo would die in the process.
As this story alludes to corruption in Kenya which is our sick hippo friend, has been branded in some quarters, a national disaster. It has pervaded every sector of the economy even extending its ugly tentacles into the president’s office. In our war against the choking vice it seems, that much as things change, things remain the same. As we quibble, chop down and rebuild the institutions we have elected to deal with the crisis our hippo only grows the sicker for it.
It is said, doing the same thing repeatedly produces the same results, while doing it repeatedly and expecting a difference is not the brightest option out there. We have had the Kenya Anti Corruption Authority [KACA], Kenya Anti Corruption Commission [KACC] and now Ethics Anti Corruption Commission [EACC]. Other than cosmetic changes like the name, has anything really changed? I would like to see something different like instead of being a fully run government agency, now why not have a public-private partnership? After all corporate and business interests are responsible for almost half of the problem. Cases like Goldenberg and Imperial bank scandals top the list and they were in a sense also public-private partnerships, albeit by illegal collusion.
If the appointing authority is serious with tackling this thing they must consider involving the private sector as equal stakeholders in the hippopotamus’s health. Of course there will be amendments to the
Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission Act, but has that ever scared our intending parliament before? Security Laws 2014 and recent changes to the Judicial Service Act on the CJ’s appointment are cases at hand. Apart from appointees of the executive arm of government some of the other stakeholders required in the fight against runaway corruption could be allowed to second a commissioner each to the agency. Entities including some professional associations like the Law Society of Kenya, ICPAK, interest groups including the corporate sector, COTU, and Transparency International (K) among others could be requested to provide a commissioner each. Other commissioners may be visionary and impactful personalities like KCB’s CEO Joshua Oigara or Safaricom’s Bob Collymore, who both have shown their leadership and willingness to help carry the hippo by making public knowledge of their personal worth. In my hoped for fairy tale world, major international donors and financiers like World Bank, IMF or the EU should also be allowed some input in the running of our anti corruption strategy. A really revolutionary national leadership that has prioritized the war against corruption would have an annually revolving commissioner seat for major donor countries including the U.S. Britain, China and others. After all, in these days of the iniquitous NYS fraud and the euro-bond “matata”, we should be prepared to let those that hold the money bag make sure the cash we have taken from them is not misappropriated.
It is great that the new EACC commissioners are all well experienced and qualified persons even with back grounds in the corporate sector. The Chairman Mr. Philip Kinisu, was former head at Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC), yes! Extremely relevant for the new position but what major departure from the caliber of persons who were previously in his shoes, is there? in my uneducated assessment none at all. Instead of having only five un-backed up, individual "carriers" as commissioners no matter how good they seem to be for the task at hand which is; to lift a heavy hippopotamus through perilous paths where crocs, hyenas, jackals and vultures lurk, I envision an executive board of nine to thirteen commissioners each nominated to represent different stakeholder areas, they could still be vetted by parliament and appointed by the Lion himself. The appointees can then be mandated in law to remit regular reports to the highest executive organ of their sponsoring interest groups, ICPAK, LSK, COTU and the rest. Each stakeholder sector should also be required to publish a semiannual report (until it is no longer a crisis) and present it for debated in parliament annexed to one that the commission itself will also deliver, by amendment to the act.  In this way each stakeholder area will contribute effectively to oversight while enroute to the witchdoctors. The lion on the other hand being king should always have the privilege of selecting the chair to the commission and possibly one or two additional commissioners who will help drive the organizational vision and mission.
If the new Commissioners and the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission (EACC) has not been appointed cunningly to fail later, the following additional considerations ought to be made;
1)      The process of appointment for Commissioners to be followed should be as independent and transparent as possible. Indeed a good balance of government and private sector representation as suggested above is critical to providing inclusivity, neutrality, impetus, transparency, vision and most importantly by sheer “weight” of representation some insulation from coercion and or collusion by crocodiles and hyenas. Needless to say many parties who traditionally have wanted the hippo dead have at the same time also had the lion’s ear.
2)      Once appointed the commissioners require security of tenure, an important inclusion to ensuring the “carrying men” don’t get swallowed by the squabbling animals, some who have sharp claws and meat cutting canines, ask Hon. Harun Mwau, Justice Ringera, PLO Lumumba and lately PACs ex-chair Hon. Ababu Namwamba (even if not in EACC) or Mr. Matemu and his co-Commissioners if they have not been scared out of the country.
3)      The commission needs prosecutorial powers, the current set up where cases have to go through the Director of Public Prosecution’s office before going to court is a system that works in favor of the crocs, hyenas, vultures and pigs. It operates like the illegal water connections unscrupulous city residents have set up. They turn the water on and off for a consideration, woe unto you if you wait for a few drops to fall from the right and legal channels. Whenever we have desired to measure the performance of our anti corruption agency, right from its initial set up as KACA in 1997 a common defense has always been that important investigation files are held up at the Public Prosecutor’s office.  In that way we are left unsure whom to blame for the seeming ineptness in bringing the big life sucking crooks to book. Two agencies have to account for the performance of the one, ahh! If we are really keen in fighting this crime which has the notorious trait of interfering with due process, the bigger the more the interference, then we ought to reduce the areas of exposure to likely illegal meddling give the commission the right to decide for itself when to lift the hippo and when to put him down.
4)      Introduce an annual government funding percentage in the anti corruption agency’s act. An assured budget directed by law and the organizations ability to be independent as desired by the EACC act and the constitution is intertwined. The politicians and the executive arm of government or at the least, the corrupt but powerful actors in the government will have been denied the chance to determine what the “carrying men” can have for lunch or dinner. Instead the “men” will operate with the allowance determined through the structured government budgetary system. Corruption being the scourge it is, now at crisis level in the country; why not enable EACC with the ability to develop a five year plan based on an assured budget? How do we expect they will have the sort of impact required to make a real difference without any guarantees as to their own ability to implement measure being decided on? A representative commission as describe in this article, that is empowered financially is an impactful one. Why not free the EACC from possible manipulation in this area and allow them to chart their own course?
My suggestions might seem a bit, “after the fact-ish”, after all the National Assembly this January already passed the five nominees as Commissioners to the EACC. I reply two things to that charge: First; review of treatment is always an ongoing thing, as any doctor or witchdoctor for that matter will tell you. Mr. Kinisu as any good practitioner in the hippo’s treatment promised that within a hundred days they will review the workings of the agency with a view to recommending improvements. Secondly, I suspect the challenges that saw others bundled out of the commission are still alive and well, so doing the same thing as we may have done in the new appointments, will as earlier noted bring the same results. Thus my comments held here remain for posterity.
“Let’s stop fixing individuals, (parliament you who voted to amend the EACC act is a case in hand), facts will attest that; there is not where the problem is. Let’s fix the institution by making it more capable of withstanding attacks both to itself as a body corporate and to the individuals who step up to the plate to run it, as the five Philip Kinisu, Dabar Abdi Maalim, Paul Mwaniki, Sophia Lepuchirit, and Rose Mghoi Mtambo-Macharia have done this time round”.

I feel the president is really committed to defeating corruption in the country after all it is his friend the hippopotamus who is sick. Now I hope to see serious work along my suggested lines in the coming months. If we can’t fight corruption from the top we could try fighting it from the floor moving up. This may take longer say 20 committed years but in that time we would have changed society and leaders will then have to shape up or shape out. In the end how these suggestions and those that will support a more enabled EACC are implemented will determine for me, who the hippo’s real friends are and if in turn those friends can defeat animals on the other side like the crocodiles who obviously want him out of the pond permanently.

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Winnerman Consult : What Happened in the El Adde Attack?

UPDATED VERSION 23/01/16: Winnerman Consult : What Happened in the El Adde Attack?: The title presents a question I am sure, that is in the mind of most Kenyans. It is obviously a situation that military analysts are look...

Monday, 18 January 2016

What Happened in the El Adde Attack?

The title presents a question I am sure, that is in the mind of most Kenyans. It is obviously a situation that military analysts are looking at also and should be trying to answer in the next few days. Without the benefit of witness accounts that those analysts may have, I am conscious not to quickly draw any conclusions. Moreover, the nature of armed conflict is that incidents don’t usually follow a text book process and only those who were there when hell broke loose can speak definitively. 
I begin by paying my respect to our heroes both fallen and surviving. What they have managed to achieve in the war against terror in Somalia has given the entire region the hope for a peaceful future. As for those who paid that ultimate price in this incident, you shall never be forgotten. Like biblical Abel’s blood I hear your spilt blood calling from the ground, let us who remain make it count for something. At this time my prayers are with their families.
El Adde is near the Kenyan border. Is that military camp a permanent base or was it a place chosen for an overnight stop while in transit? Was it not on a higher ground than the surrounding area? Is there even any higher ground there which would afford all round visibility and advantage over an intending enemy? This is one reason I proposed the building of forts along our Eastern borderhttps://www.linkedin.com/pulse/building-wall-mandera-national-border-security-ben-muoki?trk=mp-reader-card
To me it seems al shabaab exploited several vulnerabilities including the following;
  • Amniyat (al shabaab’s intelligence wing) was likely well aware of the new arrivals in the theater of war. The KDF Company must have been assessed as it drove through Kenya into Somalia and to the camp. Thus it is logical to assume the enemy new the estimated number of soldiers and the equipment including tanks and other weapons they might have had. It’s also logical to assume this attack was not spontaneous rather it may have been planned with the aid of Amniyat informant’s some possibly embedded within the ranks of the SNA who shared the remote Ceel Cado camp site. In an operational sense why here and not Kismayo, Mogadishu and other strategic towns? Well my reasoning tells me that it could be a place where KDF has been using as a stop for reliever units entering the field of operations. If so as it has been mentioned of the 9th Kenya Rifles Company involved in the incident, the troops having endured some days of travel from their base in Eldoret might have been somewhat exhausted and unfamiliar with the terrain, making them ideal targets for attack planners. Another interesting perspective that the enemy might have taken advantage of is short comings in the type of handover done between units as they traded places on the battle field. I believe sufficient briefing of commanders takes place, still I would be attracted to see, assuming the infantry unit was composed of experienced troops, if any time was availed working together between the incoming and outgoing units to allow soldiers to pass on any firsthand knowledge of the operational area.On the other hand fingers could be pointed at our intelligence network in the area but without sufficient information on why our troops had no idea about an impending attack I will only say that avenue needs be assessed also. 
  • How did the vehicles laden with explosives get to detonating distance? Anyone who has been near a KDF military base in Kenya will know there is normally a maze created by cement filled drums that is used as a barrier which forces you to slow down upon your approach, there is also a standoff distance at which one is required to stop his vehicle for a cautious sentry team to inspect before allowing you to enter. Surveillance towers are normally positioned around the fence to spot an enemy while still afar of. Why those didn’t work in this case could have been lack of night vision capable equipment could have been something else. Finally, there is no base I know of without a formidable fence and clear area around the facility. Assuming that in a war zone the measures like this would be doubly enforced why would the attackers have succeed? Well they must have hit the first stop with a VBIED followed by another possible at the secondary control entry point. Coupled with the confusion caused by the possibly diversionary first VBIED attack on the SNA main gate that probably drew most KDF responders to that end of the camp before realizing too late that their own site was the target of the main attack. Staying with that thought, how is the coordination planned between the two camps in such an eventuality? It looks like the enemy planned and executed a perfect feint movement. This is a classical diversionary tactic, in a time long past, Sun Tzu said that all war is based on deception and misdirection, this appears to have been the case here. Question is; we know that al shabaab favors the use of VBIEDs like in the Datwish government security camp attack 2011, the Jazeera palace hotel bombing in 2015, the presidential palace attack in September 2015 and the Kismayo Army Training School in August 2015 among many others. In preparation to stop just this kind of attack what firepower did the KDF sentry force pack? I put it to the reader, a G3 or M15 rifle would be grossly insufficient, a general purpose machine gun (GPMG) or some grenades might have been useful but those too are no guarantee against a suicide attacker driving a modified vehicle at top speed possibly with frontal armament against just that kind of response. So was there a Vickers battle tank readily positioned at the entrance? Was there any weapon with similar capability as a tank or an anti tank weapon, a rocket propelled grenade (RPG) might have been an effective defense against the speeding VBIEDS? If these provisions had been set up why were they not used to effectively stop the attack at the onset? If none had been provided what does that say about KDF’s risk management capabilities? I leave that for your own assessment.
  • Looks like the initial VBIED attacks served to pry open the outer perimeter, going by official accounts these were quickly followed by many suicide attackers. Again that is a sign of meticulous planning and preparation. Why use individual suicide attackers? I would imagine al shabaab new that even in the confusion they would be no match being out numbered against a better trained, equipped and disciplined force that KDF is. This would demand for them to find a way of quickly lashing out at numerous targets at the same time in the first few minutes of an attack hence more explosives carried to the enemy by persons not looking to escape KDF retaliation within those close quarters, alas suicide attackers, was their natural choice. What is interesting is to see how were the shaid’s clad, was it in uniform resembling KDF’s or SNA’s, making them hard to identify in the mêlée. Analysts will want to find out how much explosive each carried, how was the IED designed, how many were they? Pointing to required impact for each one. When unleashed after the VBIEDs how did they deploy was it strategic/ did they know which buildings to strike at? Hinting at intelligence led operations on their part. What was stolen? Pointing to possible needs the attackers may have had.
  • I have heard and suspect we have taken a beating in this attack. Being routed out of their secure campsite it is like the whole company was caught napping. One print media account attributed to Cabinet Secretary Ambassador Raychelle Omamo, suggests that we lost more than eighty soldiers. Going by history Cabinet Secretary Rt. Gen. Nkaissery gave similar figures early in the Garissa incident where we finally lost over 142 people. We will wait to see what is said finally. In the mean time I wonder how SNA faired on in the same incident, reports have been fairly silent. Not to read anything in this, yet all avenues and explanations must be pursued to their logical conclusions to ensure no repeat incident in future.
  • Why attack a military base, obviously a hard target compared to a university college or a shopping mall? The simple reason of wanting KDF to exit Somalia may account for the overall strategy but in the immediate arena it speaks of something more. The camp would also be seen as a resource base by the enemy. If the attackers succeeded as they did, they would immediately gain access to weapons, resources and equipment they probably were short of. May be this Al Adde region is a strategic root to other important targets or bases. It is also possible that al shabaab which is already pressed out of other regions is looking to curve out a new territory for itself. In some of the other regions as those that are adjacent to Ethiopia, al shabaab may have been neutralized by coercion or collusion with that “friendly government.” Hence this attack has to be seen in the context of numerous other attacks executed or foiled along our eastern border. Such incidents include; Garissa University 2015, Lamu numerous incidents in the Boni forest, Mpeketoni attack - June 2014, the Military Base in Lamu - June 2015, Mandera bus assault - Nov 2014 or the quarry attack in July 2015 and the governor being targeted in October 2015 among many others.
  • My last questions under this series are; where are they escaping to? Now that they have struck grabbed some military hardware possibly some army vehicles, where do they intend to hide them? Those are not as simple to conceal as a single person taken hostage why can’t we cut them off, surround them and force a situation with them? Are there any hostages really? If their lives matter and we can’t master whatever it takes to give chase overtake and recover, have we then asked big brother the U.S. for whatever assistance we still need to get back our people? Pride verses life, I chose both, GoK should ask for help yesterday, if they need it albeit secretly. Still al shabaab’s capability is in the least surprising, if unlike many citizens were led to believe, the enemy is able to launch such a coordinated and obviously well planned attack against a professional force of about 200 KDF officers not to mention the SNA troops. What does this mean for the rest of the nation’s security? I think any supposed victories witnessed from staying attacks in the rest of the country are only an indicator of a possible lull during terrorist restructuring. Are we as safe as we think we are really? You tell me.
I believe it is time we assessed our contribution to AMISOM, not to withdraw as some have mistakenly called for, rather to find if this ongoing, un- surrendering threat may require the country to independently (as Ethiopia has done somewhat) and now in an unlimited, unrelenting manner decide to go for the jugular and snuff out any overt presence anywhere in Kenya, Somalia or any other hell hole anywhere else. My own opinion, “kazi ifanywe kwanza, kesi badaye. Uliza”, Valdimir Putin!
ADDITIONAL NOTES
 I have received a lot of feedback from readers and yet more information on this incident has been made available to the public. So let’s make this article a sort of running commentary.
  • Initially I wrote that fingers could be pointed at the military intelligence operations in the area, now I say fingers MUST be pointed at them. I have heard that the SNA had not only warned KDF commanders of the intentioned al shabaab attack but had actually withdrawn their troops from their part of the twin bases. KDF has since denied prior knowledge of this kind, so why would friendly SNA Generals allege this kind of thing? Are we sleeping with an enemy or are we laying about our friends? What’s more the Chief of Defence Forces General Mwathathe, announced that two anti aircraft guns had been set up in the nearby town one of which was positioned in a school compound. My question is, where was the military intelligence corps (MIC) when all this was going on, in fact forget the MIC, were there no security patrols and ongoing situational analysis and reports by commanders? Apparent lapses in these things are probably responsible for our getting caught in such a flat footed manner. These mistakes also tell me that KDFs strategy is probably more reactive that it is proactive in terms of what their assignment in Somalia is. Any none military business manager in Kenya will tell you why reactive strategies will kill your business fast. I don’t want to imagine what that will do to us in a country that has had no structures and only war for almost three decades, God help us!
  • We have also heard that al shabaab’s Maalim Janow, the leader of the Abu Zubeir brigade that was responsible for this attack has been killed in a retaliatory attack by KDF. That’s good, but looking at it keenly, why were we able to target him a person apparently we even know by name and are able to confirm his demise after the attack but are not able to rescue any of our troops that might have been taken hostage? Why is the intelligence able to pin this attack on him but were unable to forestall the attack before it happened? Who suddenly woke up and is hurriedly doing what he/ she should have been doing in the first place?
  • Other information suggests that the second VBIED was detonated in the center of the base. That it took out all communication capability and possibly the bigger portion of the company’s top command. I can’t fail to wonder how quickly the enemy moved from its attack launch position right in to the center of an army base. In the earlier part of this article we talked of the weak resistance at the entry point. Now I am forced to wonder did all the VBIEDs gain access through the main gates? Even if that was not so an intense look at how the camp was constructed is called for. It should be that there are anti vehicle intrusion trenches all around the base so that any attacker would not succeed in moving into the area after ramming through initial perimeter measures. Some other security features I had earlier alluded to would include bankers to shelter from artillery or bombing, there should also have been an inner perimeter through which no, none KDF soldier could go past into a restricted inner compound, friend or foe. Apparently this was not the case and one or more of those who were allowed previously to come to the command HQ must have passed their knowledge of the layout to al shabaab, hence their ability to quickly and precisely target with a VBIED this command and communications nerve center. Was there no secondary command and communication position in a bunker somewhere else? Surely an entire command team and systems all holed up in one spot? Again I must wonder were the KDF soldiers sleeping without their weapons, why couldn’t they stage any resistance immediately? What of the teams responsible for the armored vehicles and battle tanks how far away were they from their equipment that it could be so easily taken away from them? Was everyone asleep no standby units in their tents at this most dangerous sector of war? I ask again how did the enemy get to the perimeter unobserved, I have also heard that the al shabaab outnumbered KDF troops, so we are talking of more than 200-250 attackers say probably over 300 attackers! “Auuch hata kama ni kulala”, no one saw them approaching? Were all the troops holed up in the base without security patrol units outside, to engage the enemy in a first contact and act as early warning teams? There exists in modern warfare equipment like remote sensors that are able to monitor camp perimeters didn’t KDF have any of this stuff? Even without it, haven’t we at least hired any satellite monitoring capability for operational areas to keep an eye on troop movement and provide an early warning system? What really is KDFs capability? I don’t ask this to cause doubt rather to provoke a keen analysis of what we are actually capable of verse where we need to be in Somalia. I don’t think I am asking too much, especially not for a force that requires protection in the war front. It has been said that this El Adde base was in one of the most hostile areas of operations yet all I can see so far is a sleeping boy scout type of reaction.
  • Talking of preparedness I was highly disappointed to hear from Gen. Mwathathe, that due to the anti aircraft guns positioned near the camp we were unable to insert backup troops by air. What’s that? “Hio ni kusema nini? Um!” what was lacking exactly, the equipment to do it? The training? Or what? I am thoroughly upset with that report. No low flying attack helicopters, where were the much touted army rangers to fly in under fire and takeout those weapons? Why not fly to a closer landing spot and deploy the Special Forces to race on ground and destroy the enemy’s artillery and then send in reinforcements? Then even if the air force couldn’t hit those guns with air to ground missiles why didn’t KDF high command call-in drone air support from the U.S. base in Djibouti or wherever else they come from? In 2014 they could pinpoint and shut down al shabaab’s leader Ahmed Godane while driving in a car what of such stationary weapons? What school is on at four in the morning? Our troops were under attack what other reservations could take priority over this? I stop at coughing out a vulgar insult, someone explain this to me.
  • It has also been reported that there is an Ethiopian Military base not very far off. Exactly how near is it? Why did we get reinforcements from there either? What use are these bases if the shabaab can bring such a sizeable force obviously with sufficient equipment some probably heavy and loud to a theater of action without being noticed?
It appears to me that this story can only get grimmer as we go the only positive and decisive thing I have noted in all this is, KDFs information handling and family relations management. Of course like many Kenyans I have wanted more information instantly and have also felt that lingering frustration for not having it. Ours is a more liberal society yet I must accept that the actual details of what happened are not pretty and if those were threshed out in public al shabaab would have achieved a bigger victory than they have. As those responsible for closely watching what to publicize and what to hold back do their job it is critical for the appropriate parliamentary committees to put politics aside and properly analyze what transpired at El Adde, ask the kind of questions I have suggested here, get proper answers and oversee sufficient remedial actions, otherwise we risk suffering this kind of thing yet again.

Friday, 1 January 2016

Security Wins & Challenges for 2015

The year had a mixture of improvement and trouble, included here is the major issues that marked our days either way.
Wins:
1.       Fewer Attacks: There have been less successful terrorist attacks, in number this year, most of them were constrained in the Mandera to Bonni Forest stripe. This can be attributed to among other things the inter agency sharing of security relevant information and operational collaboration between units on the ground.
2.       Great Publicity for Good Security: 2015 saw several VVIPs visit the country among them US President Obama, the Pope, Presidents and Prime Ministers from Liberia and Italy respectively (body armor not withstanding), among others, then the World Trade Organization (WTO) Conference was successfully hosted in the country. Numerous world recognized performing artists and entertainment industry stars came to perform or just for holiday not to mention the steadily increasing number of tourists trickling back to this holiday destination. All this a great testimony to improved security in the country. These kinds of people don’t normally visit a hot bed of crime and terrorism, let’s keep it that way.
3.       Increased Security Spending: In the fiscal year 2015/16 GoK increased its security budget to 223.9 Billion. A significant step to provide dearly needed funds to upscale its capabilities in the war against terror which clearly and rightly so, is a major issue in its planning. Part of this spending went to medical insurance for the police and recruitment of additional officers among other important aspects. Low salaries are still an issue for security personnel just as it is for teachers, lecturers, medical personnel etc. Even then nowhere else has the impact of an ailing system been felt as immediately and as brazenly in our society for the loss to life and investment as it has been from the challenges in the internal security sector, many of the problems financially connected.  In addition to more funds prudent spending will be required to meet all these needs.
4.       The Right Team in Office: Able police leadership appointed as we stepped into the year. IG Joseph Boinnet stepped in to office to complete the so far successful combination of top security men including the chief spy Maj. Gen. Rt. Kameru and Cabinet Secretary Gen. Rt. Nkaissery. Leadership is critical to any enterprise and more so in the disciplined services. Any successes or at least reduction in the onslaught of crime and terror must first be credited to them.
5.       Setting Up CCTV in Nairobi & Mombasa: the CCTV surveillance system setup in critical areas in both cities if properly used is bound to improve policing from the increased monitoring capability afforded to the police. Hopefully we will see more solutions like that one.
6.       Increased Religious Anti Radicalization Campaigns: among all Kenya communities and a government program announced by the president in June 2015 must be taking root. These efforts are critical to defeating violent extremist notions including one that al shabaab have had for some time, which is to cause a rift, suspicion and possible fighting between Muslims and Christians. Muslim passengers shielded Christians in a Mandera bound Bus from al shabaab terrorist in December crowning the year in a most wonderful way.
7.       Fight Against Illicit Brews and Drugs: although led by the political wing once charged by the president, it was nonetheless a security action. After all, those trusted with security had failed to stop this menace. Starting in central Kenya where the bootleg had taken over and spreading to other regions of the country brewing and drinking dens were brought down. The Fight against narcotic drugs at the coast has also been escalated with several rehabilitation camps set up and drug boats destroyed. That is good but trafficking cases can get complicated my advice https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/open-letter-president-fight-against-illicit-drug-coast-ben-muoki?trk=mp-reader-card

8.       Continued International Corporation: in destroying al shabaab have been successful. The year saw the loss of Bardere town, the final shabaab stronghold in July and the elimination of Adan Garaar a top Amniyat boss responsible for the Garissa University attack. The US gave Kenya 9.5B Shillings and the EU funded AMISOM to the tune of 187M USD to help fight terrorism. This in addition to the technical corporation like the drones etc has been a major contributor to the successes in our part of the global arena. Two major factors cannot be wished away in this war against terrorism; it is an international phenomenon and must be dealt with at that same level. Then it also takes enormous resources to combat extremist violence. A country like ours requires all the support it can get and things here were well taken care of.
9.       Security Laws Passed: Several security laws were passed by parliament the majority of what was agreed I believe will go to help the war against terror, issues to do with immigration and different powers to track and acquire related information, the set up of a counter terrorism center and others. At the same time there are parts of that law I wonder of what direct benefit they are like the now presidential powers to appoint and fire the Police IG and the DG NIS. Whether these changes were positive or not remains upon how they will be interpreted and enforced, hence it is my last point on the 2015 wins.  My thoughts:




Opportunities to Improve:
1.       Corruption: has the entire country in a strangle hold and nowhere is it more obvious as it is in the public facing NPS. From personal observation the total GoK budget could probably be halved if the menace didn’t exist in the country. The removal of all EACC commissioners and seeming castration of the commission’s capability mostly by political power brokers continued to ensure the war against graft is lost. The president sacked some Cabinet Secretaries and even lamented that the vice had invaded his own office yet there have been no convictions and recoveries in any leading case to date. Then there was the Parliamentary Accounts Committee scandal and corruption allegations depicting the extent of the rot. Political and corporate leadership irrespective of sector or affiliation continued to front and protect corruption in the year.
2.       Porous North Eastern Border: a permanent security wall/ fence would have been a good solution.  Many attacks emanating from terror cells in Somalia the list is long a depressing I will spare you that read. My ideas can be found here https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/building-wall-mandera-national-border-security-ben-muoki?trk=mp-reader-card
3.       Uncoordinated Crisis Response: although inter agency corporation has clearly been enhanced especially so with the apparent improved information sharing among security agencies, we cannot forget the debacle that was Garissa University crisis response. The Crisis Response Team had to be brought in from Nairobi, an hour’s flight time to Garissa. Even then there was no aircraft for the job and the team had to be driven by road arriving there too late for 147 victims. It is unclear if any system improvement was carried out, a small chopper was acquired supposedly to mitigate similar future occurrences but in my assessment the craft is ridiculously inappropriate for the purpose, more thoughts https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/garissa-university-attack-where-we-ben-muoki?trk=mp-reader-card
4.       Deficient Security Manpower: although more officers were recruited the number is still not enough the country needs around 95,000 police officers against the current estimate of 50,000 officers in order to meet the one police officer for every 450 citizen’s ratio, recommended by the UN. The NPS should turn to modern technology like the CCTV project now in the cities. In addition civilian staffing for non critical jobs such as CCTV monitoring and emergency telephone receptionists can be considered.  Conversion and or handover of some roles to county enforcement officers (kanju), would avoid duplication of duties like traffic control, the same could be done with the airport/ sea port authority, security teams as would the removal of the overlapping situation between AP & KPS. A case at hand; for each County Police Commander there is a duplicate  unannounced AP commander from where most AP operations are controlled, creating two opposing lines of reporting. Nairobi county a case in hand.
5.   Potential for Political Interference in Policing: The Inspector General of Police and the Director General of the National Intelligence Service were appointed and are answerable directly to the president as a result of amended security laws. In addition they have no security of tenure, diminished civilian oversight by parliament and now 2017, the election year is just around the corner. If one looks at the bigger picture you cannot fail to note the sizable public concerns and or discontent over political interference with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), in addition there is the failure of parliament to extend the tenure of the Constitutional Implementation Commission (CIC) which has wound down in the closing days of 2015 The judiciary is also clearly not independent for among other issues two things; the teachers unions strike debacle and for its seeming impotence in curbing hate speech especially so from politicians. The media has also had its challenges fighting perceived gagging by the government, all these issues happening in our country a member of the East Africa Community where leaders in Uganda, Rwanda and extreme-case-Burundi have all sought to extend their terms in office,  I humbly submit, the writing is on the wall, security bosses ‘mtafuata nyayo’!
6.   Criminal Activities That Refused to Disappear: Cattle rustling in the Pokot-Turkana- Samburu areas. These instances not just concerning loss of cattle but the loss of numerous human lives remain concerning-ly un-dealt with and not just by the police but effective management requires the entire cross section of leaders. Personally I call for increased use of intelligence services to root out ring leaders and pre-empt attacks and meaningful prosecution of offenders. Cyber crime is ahead of us in Kenya, both in the absence of adequate legislation/ regulations and in our ability to police the use of the various technological platforms. I see this area presenting two big problems going forward cyber terrorism and crime both which could erode sizable gains to our first growing economy. All sort of IT specialist already exist, GoK needs to hire them, create the regulatory environment that is able to protect as well as foster growth and aggressively go after criminals instead of allowing gangs like the Chinese hackers arrested in an up class Nairobi residence to go home in some shady deal. Poaching has seen our wildlife being eradicated in worrying numbers despite the best efforts of conservationists and supporting activists. Over the year embarrassing recoveries of ivory were made in Bangkok and Singapore all coming from the port of Mombasa. Not only is Kenya a victim of poaching but it has become a transit hub too. Much of the profits from the poaching are used to fund terrorism and armed militia throughout the region. Although prosecution of suspects is ongoing, that needs to be stepped up and the laws protecting wildlife should be reviewed to stiffen the penalties so much so as to reflect the significance of wildlife to our economy and its place in the region as a unique human heritage. In addition customs and excise procedures should be reviewed to close existing loopholes used by traffickers and smugglers. Other serious crimes that have plagued us include sexually oriented cases most common is rape which has moved on to include children and mentally challenged victims there is also the trading in counterfeit goods in our markets among others. The efforts to deal with these issues were insufficient to deal with the magnitude of the problems and new strategies that encompass more than enforcement efforts should be considered to deal with them.
As security leaders undertake their review of the year’s activities I believe that the issues above should come up. It has now been a year or so since most of the top national security team was appointment this end of year review would therefore be an opportune time to consider my earlier top 10 suggestions and how they too were implemented, follow this link:

Sunday, 27 December 2015

Tribal Clashes in Narok is a Leadership Failure

What: The Maasai and Kalenjin Communities both resident around Olposimoru in Narok County have been waging inter tribal clashes between them in the last few days as a result 2-3 people have died, many houses have been burnt down and more than a thousand people displaced. 

Why: In one word Resources. The Maasai being more interested in grazing land while the Kalenjin wanting bigger farmland. The mau forest part near the region being a major point of disagreement. All this brought to a heal by the unexplained death to 2 maasai clans men escalating to revenge and counter revenge attacks.

Failures: 1) There seems to be a sense of miss trust between both communities who have lived together for many years. Area leadership has not cultivated an "us-all-together" mentality as opposed to the, "we verses them" way of living. 2) Why would a community quickly take up the revenge for crime commited instead of dependening on official established government means to address this. If we killed all those we thought murdered our clans men where would the country be? Why didnt the Maasai trust the police with the information they had concerning the attacks? 3) Where is the county government in all this? What has it done to ensure equitable distribution of resources and opportunities for livelihood? Other than standard levels of representation this general area has had similar upheavals in the past. So what added conflict resolution mechanisms has the leadership employed in the region to ensure clashes dont happen? 4) As for the Public Administration from village level sub chiefs and chiefs and police patrol bases what preventative action did they take to stop the build up to the clashes, they dont just happen without planning, where is the proactive intelligence collection? why was it not effectively used to deploy the extra security personnel now reported to be on ground? 
Some Solutions: 1) The area leadership ethnic/ county and national now need to address the loss of property that has been occasioned by the fighting even if the police stop the fighting  there will be need to support the vicitims in rebuilding their homes and lives. Financial compensation should be part of effective compensation package in addition to proper auditable assuarances for protection against a repeat of this fighting. 2) Those who have been displaced must be protected to return to their homes any resettlement away from there will only encourage further/ similar clashes and should not be entertained. 3) Investigations should also be carried out to find the leaders/ organizers of this fighting on both sides unless they are arrested and properly prosecuted I see this as a problem that will only esclate in magnitude and range as we draw closer to 2017 election year.




Winnerman Consult : One Terrorist Killed, Four Others Wounded after IE...

Winnerman Consult : One Terrorist Killed, Four Others Wounded after IE...: Read more at: http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/article/2000186290/terrorist-killed-four-others-wounded-after-ied-explodes.    

 Only 5 attackers 1 dead 4 injured why was there no pursuit and arrest/ more terrorist dead? what was the composition of the patrol team, 1 officer with a pistol? why didnt the patrol team call in air support to trace these terrorists? We have a national problem here but the handling of the incident seems like one of a subsistance farmer chasing after a chiken thief.I think one of four explanations are true:1) The patrol team was too small and under equiped for the job and failed to carry out the job, it doesnt matter that they were being shot at, that is part of their job these are not teachers nor are they nurses! 2) The Security team are guilty of cowardice in the face of the enemy. 3)There was collusion/ corruption with the shabaab on the part of officers. 4)The story was a propaganda peice thats not going to well judging by social media. The officers possibly 1-3 not well prepared were only on their way to draw water from a near by water point. Or another theory could be that an explosion as a result of misshandling the IED by the terrorists (possibly trainees recently crossed into Kenya to prove themselves) attracted the security patrol to the area only to find a dead shabaab and traces of a startled and quickly departed team of four. A position investigator could easily determine by the number of foot prints, possible traces of blood from the wounded and equipment or supplies dropped while they escaped. I place my bet on one of these last two scenarios.Either way urgent investigation should be the action of a proactive security leadership wanting to ensure better results next time instead of using a lame explanation like, "they got away on foot". What rubbish, only 4 attackers alive some probably wounded by the explotion and yet they managed to escape with little trace. No more arrested, none shot down by the patrol nor was the patrol even bruised in the shoot out?? whats up with all that.

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

2 Dead, 3 Injured in Mandera Bus Attack

Two dead, three injured as suspected Shabaab militants attack The 7am attack happened at Dabacity Town between Kotulo and El Wak in Mandera County.NATION.CO.KE The fact that local Muslim passangers shielded & stood with non Muslim pax in the process risking their own lives cannot be over stated. There is no greater love but for one to lay down thier own life for another. One Kenya one destiny. Still as a security analyst I must wonder is there no regulation covering transport security in the area? How comes a bus driver can opt to proceed without police escort? Is the bus crew being investigated for possible colusion? If not why? what of the now fleeing attackers, what is known of them? Can locals identify them? why didnt they just then kill all the passengers, after all in Somalia the group does kill fellow Muslims? were they possibly from same clan or something like that which might have prevented it? This should be checked out, leave no stone unturned albeit delicately espacially for those heros who obstructed the killing of more than the two who died. Immediate coorective action needs be taken, including reveiwing transport security protocols in the region to ensure adeqaute protection of passengers including convoys/ escorts, patrols etc. That should happen in Tana River, Garissa, Wajir, Mandera & Lamu region. As it happens lets not neglect the police ensure they have superior fire power, body armor, and armored vehicles independent of the passenger buses they should be escorting. Then there is the matter of strategy; The heroic stance by local muslims(media reports indicating most were women - God bless their souls even more), was in my estimation an unplanned action at a time of greatest need. But what happens if this becomes a trend. One possibility is that alshabaab will attempt to intimidated the local population the more. If so the government must go all out to ensure locals dont get caught in between 2 waring parties. In addition to increased security that region requires increased support even more than all other regions to agressively reduce any underlaying factors that may be contributing to extremist radicalization there. The action of those passengers teaches us this, the life and fate we support for those people, is the life and fate we cut for ourselves. 1Kenya, 1 Destiny.

Monday, 14 December 2015

OPEN LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT ON THE FIGHT AGAINST ILLICIT DRUG TRAFFICKING IN THE COAST

Dear President Uhuru,
Last week you directed the security agencies to deal with the growing illicit drug problem manifesting itself in the coastal areas of Kenya. To do so the national security agencies now need to settle down and plan their infiltration of the organized crime rings running this business, they must jointly reduce our concerns aired on multiple platforms into intelligence requirements that will provide actionable assessments. Our agencies must start doing in depth, long range investigations on the known information and actors which actually leads to effective curtailment of the drug phenomenon. I have seen on TV that already the street level peddlers are being arrested, while it is a positive step, I think that it is only cosmetic and doesn’t properly depict your obvious resolve to fight this problem. Instead some of the already known medium level actors should by now have been arrested pending prosecution as the preferred low hanging fruit in this exercise. These organized crime rings will probably not take this move laying down, meaning they will do all that is in their ability to counter, compromise, cover up and defeat it. Therefore your government’s effort to win the war must be planned coordinated and extensive enough, affecting more than just local associates “huko mitaani na sokoni” (on our streets & market places).The internal ministry and the foreign affairs leadership should revamp transnational cooperation with Interpol and other agencies and countries so, to ensure the East African coast stops becoming a favored transit point for cartels. Stakeholder agencies like the customs & excise through which these drugs pass must be overhauled and not just in border security personnel but also in the procedures and equipment used too. So that we seal every loop hole being used and are able to effectively supervise how those agencies are performing at each point of their work.  This problem has also been evidence this year by the scandals on export of tones of ivory recently detected in Singapore and in Bangkok despite customs and security measures at the Mombasa port.

I commend you for the system of destroying boats/ vessels with their drug cargo in the sea that you led beginning this year, it removes much of the room for drug lords to fight back, but is it properly secured in law? If not an amendment act needs be brought to parliament asap as we become more committed to this fight. Next time before it happens, for the avoidance of doubt could you direct for there to be a content verification process say by the government chemist, some senior judicial officer/s and some independent verifiers say Transparency International (K) and other technically able organizations. This way you secure against sarcasm, doubt or the negative talk of detractors & secure against possible compromise of the process from several different directions including the drug owners corrupting the process. Just imagine what would happen in the event of just such a scandal. On the other hand imagine the effectiveness this would bring in support of the entire war on drugs both here and internationally. I also urge you to give adequate reassurances publically and internally to the team leaders of our security teams in this fight, especially for their safety and for their jobs. You may be aware of past negative incidents and suspicions in Kenya’s drug war history. Jicho Pevu the KTN TV program did a revealing expose´ on it covering possible political leadership involvement in the country’s biggest drug case over 1000 Kgs in 2004. This may be one reason why it seems little has been achieved in the fight against trafficking so far. That thought brings me to my final point, why did it take your presidential directive before security agencies did anything about drugs in the coastal region? I have seen recent news reports pointing out the drug hot spots yet it seems the police were either not aware of these places and their related crimes, already in the public domain or they were aware but for reasons we could speculate about later, they did nothing about it even though the responsibility to stop crime is squarely their mandate. Incidentally the same scenario requiring your directive is what we witnessed with the illicit brew issue in central Kenya. While the directives make for good public image I fear for the effective fight against crime. I urge that you look at how tasks and targets are assigned and how work on these is assessed to judge effectiveness and blockages to implementation, at the local level, say at the OCPD & OCS level. There is a critical need for review of performance management in all our security agencies lest they will now only work on your directive and superficially at that. All that said your directive to fight drug trafficking is the right step, now while the trend is still at its infantile stage. I commend you and the security team for the recent successes and marked improvement witnessed in the war against terror within the country and I look forward to seeing the same in the anti drug arena also.