Wednesday, 9 July 2014

KENYA IS RIPE FOR A PATRIOT ACT

With the prevalence of terrorist attacks in Kenya, actual or perceived, real or imagined, people have mooted various mitigation measures amongst them enactment of a Patriot Act. 

The term PATRIOT is a backronym for ‘Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism.’ This Act will enable the government to unilaterally search business records as well as conduct surveillance upon ‘lone wolves.’ 

When I mention ‘lone wolves’, I mean those people who are suspected of crime and terrorist-related activities yet not directly or indirectly linked to some terrorist groups. This will ensure that the economic gains we have made as country are safeguarded by countering destruction associated with terrorist-related activities.

There has been a broad concern amongst Kenyans stemming from the 1998 American Embassy bombings, the Westgate Attack and the recent egregious Mpeketoni Massacre. It is time our parliamentarians passed legislations to bolster security. 

A Patriot Act will ensure law enforcers are able to search businesses or homes without the knowledge and consent of the occupant. Furthermore, the National Intelligence Service (NIS) will be allowed to use the recently rebranded Communication Authority of Kenya (CAK) to search financial and library records, e-mails and telephone conversations without any court order. 

The Patriot Act will enhance the capacity of our domestic security services in prevention of terrorism. A fund should be established to counter terrorist activities. This Act will also proscribe discrimination meted against Muslim and Arab Kenyans. 

This Act should provide measures to counter money laundering engendering peace in our dear country. Terrorism financing should be dealt with decisively. The Patriot Act should also give the Attorney General Professor Githu Muigai and the Immigration Department investigative and law enforcement power. Border patrol and intelligence should be enhanced and victims of terrorism compensated.

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