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County Government teams up with National Government and stakeholders to launch counter terrorism initiative

At least 40 per cent of stakeholders in Kiambu County have been trained on reporting terrorism related suspects and activities so that security organs can act promptly to avert the menace.

This is a drop in the ocean, and there is a need for more people who interact with the public to undergo such training in view of Kiambu County being in the outskirts of the capital city, Nairobi and is prone to numerous incidents of terror attacks.

This was revealed yesterday during a training for National and County government officers including stakeholders at the National counter terrorism centre held at a Kiambu hotel.

The 3-day training in partnership with the European Union has been organized to enlighten the stakeholders on prevention and counter violent extremism (P/CVE) knowledge and fusion data management for Kiambu county engagement forum members.

Officers of the County Government of Kiambu and those National Government and Civil Society in a group photo during the training on counter-terrorism

The initiative which was conceived in 2019 was halted after some of the members were trained and did not go through the entire process of being launched because of lack of funding. However, after a series of consultative meetings the journey to revive the initiative began yesterday with members identifying areas of concern that should be prioritized by the security apparatus.

On the first day of the meeting, members of the forum saw light at the end of the tunnel when the county Executive Member for Environment and Natural resources Mr. David Kuria promised total support of the initiative.

The CECM who represented Governor James Nyoro said the County Government of Kiambu was ready and willing to participate in activities aimed at reporting activities that could lead to terrorism.

“Kiambu is strategically located in the outskirts of Nairobi and it is therefore important that stakeholders pool their resources towards ensuring there was a peaceful environment for investment and for the people to concentrate on their social-economic ventures” he noted.

“Kiambu County comprises 75 per cent of youth who are mainly the targets of terrorism since they need money to be self-reliant so that they do not get it from their parents or guardians. For this reason, they needed to be protected from the prospective influence that could allow them to be lured into questionable and criminal activities,” Mr. Kuria cautioned

The County Assembly of Kiambu was represented by the leader of Majority Mr. Gedion Gachara who represented the speaker Reverend Stephen Ndichu and the duo were reading from the same script of teaming up with the National Government to stem Terrorism activities and provide a conducive environment for the people and investors.

He noted that members of the county assembly were in total support of putting in place measures that could bring peace to the area and enable an environment that could enable people to work without being distracted by anti-social activities.

The Prevention of Terrorism ACT of 2012 empowers the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC) to be responsible for the Coordination of National counter terrorism efforts in order to detect, deter and disrupt terrorism acts.

Without prejudice to the provision of subsection (1), the centre shall establish a database to assist law enforcement agencies, conduct public awareness on prevention of terrorism, develop strategies such as counter terrorism and de-radicalization, and facilitate capacity building for counter terrorism stakeholders and co-ordinate with other government agencies to provide security certification for aviation schools and companies.

The ACT also dictates that the centre may request any person or government body for any information relating to terrorism and that members of the public have a responsibility to furnish the centre with any information relating to terrorism which is within their knowledge.

Kiambu County Commissioner Mr. Wilson Wanyanga in his opening remarks called for commitment from those who had been invited for the training. “Your participation in this forum is critical and you are required to be attentive so that the donor funds do not go to waste,” he said.

He reiterated that they must show their seriousness through their presence and participation in the specific areas so as to boost the knowledge of the organizers so that they can improve on their performance in detecting terrorism related activities and suspects for follow-up by security agencies.

The training which began yesterday will be concluded on Wednesday after which a special team shall be mandated to engage in documenting the solutions and ideas that will have been highlighted during the training.

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