Nairobi — President Uhuru Kenyatta and other leaders who attended a thanks giving service for disciplined forces on Sunday hailed the security officers for their sacrifice in securing the country, despite rising insecurity.
The Head of State said although there are security challenges in the country, members of the disciplined forces have always done their best to restore peace. "You have paid the ultimate sacrifice while performing your duties. We as a nation are proud of the service that you render," the President said during the prayers which were held at the Holy Family Basilica in Nairobi.
"We will endevour to do everything we can to constantly see that we improve the welfare of our men and women in uniform," he assured the officers who have been widely criticized for failing to restore security in the country, in the wake of the Westgate terror attack.
But despite this, the president has not lost hope in the officers, whom he hailed for their 'sacrifice'. The Head of State has assured the officers that his government plans to increase budgetary allocation to cater for their welfare.
He called on Kenyans to work closely with the security forces by providing them with information that can lead to the arrest of criminals, including terrorists. Kenya suffered one of the worst terror attacks in the country on September 21, leading to the loss of over 70 people--including six security forces and five terrorists--in a four day siege.
No suspect has been charged formally over the attack, although police have said they are still holding some eight suspects. On his part, Deputy President William Ruto lauded the security forces for their work, saying they have done a tremendous job to keep Kenya safe, although we continue to face insecurity challenges.
"It is not ordinary that men in uniform who are normally carrying guns and shooting to come to church. It is not ordinary. Their language is normally very rough. But we want to thank God that progressively we have seen a difference in our disciplined forces," Ruto said.
Inspector General of Police David Kimaiyo insisted that the police have done their best, even though they have been criticized for having failed to prevent the Westgate attack following reports that they were provided with prior intelligence.
"Peace in Kenya remains stable over the years in this country. This is because these officers are ladies and gentlemen who can be able to volunteer and serve this country dedicatedly," Kimaiyo pointed out, citing the Westgate attack "You have seen even recently your Excellency, that they did a wonderful job; all the disciplined service officers and the KDF (Kenya Defence Forces) who came to our support," Kimaiyo added.
The prayer service is held annually for members of the disciplined service and their family members for social interaction. The Sunday prayer service brought together officers from the Kenya Police, Administration Police, Kenya Prisons Service, National Youth Service, Kenya Forest Service and the Kenya Wildlife Service.