President Uhuru Kenyatta has declared a major security operation to wipe out Al-Shabaab and ordered that militants be killed and buried.
A visibly angry President Kenyatta also implied that Public Works Principal Secretary Mariam El Maawy, who was abducted, shot and injured by terrorists, could have been targeted for issuing title deeds to locals.
Ms Maawy was rescued by Kenya Defence Forces soldiers after the terrorists took control of her vehicle before killing her bodyguard, driver and nephew.
Two other people were also killed.
Speaking Monday in Kizingitini, Lamu County, President Kenyatta said he is certain the insurgents who have been killing and maiming locals would be found.
He was accompanied by his deputy William Ruto.
“When we get them, we will not jail but bury them,” the President said.
DAUGHTER OF LAMU
He said Ms Maawy is a daughter of Lamu and her only mistake could have been issuing title deeds to locals.
Ms Maawy, who held the Land docket before being moved to the Public Works ministry, was shot in the arm and leg and is recuperating in hospital.
President Kenyatta said no one has a right to take other people’s lives or cause fear and vowed to get Al-Shabaab and “bury them”.
He cautioned locals against hiding the militants.
He said Kenyans should be free to walk unhindered day and night and their properties protected.
The residents, he said, should help in the fight against Al-Shabaab by providing information that could help track them.
“We shall finish them,” he said of the insurgents, who have turned Boni Forest into a playground, attacking and killing locals before retreating there.
The President, who was accompanied by Jubilee gubernatorial candidate Fahim Twaha, assured Kenyans of security ahead of the general election.
The Head of State, who also visited the volatile Mpeketoni, called on locals to support government efforts in dealing with insecurity.
“Let me assure residents of Mpeketoni and Lamu that the government is prepared to face the terrorists.
“Mine is to urge you to vacate the areas intended for operation so that our security forces can get enough space to deal with and finish the criminals,” said President Kenyatta.
Mpeketoni is just 13 kilometres from Milihoi, where the insurgents abducted Ms Maawy in the daring 3pm raid.
The militants had killed 13 people in Jima and Pandaguo a week earlier.
Hundreds of locals have fled their homes due to persistent Al-Shabaab killings despite the multi-agency Operation Linda Boni security campaign that started in 2015.
Coast Regional Coordinator Nelson Marwa has termed the raids political, saying they are meant to prevent people from voting on August 8.
The attacks have affected tourism, the local economy and resident’s movements.
A number of schools have also closed down.
President Kenyatta also promised that fishermen who suffered losses due to a ban on night fishing due to insecurity will be compensated by March 2018.
He reiterated Jubilee’s pledge of free secondary education from January 2018.
The Head of State asked locals to vote for Jubilee, saying his administration has delivered a lot to Kenyans since they took power four years ago.
He said together with his Deputy William Ruto, they have ensured Kenyans got title deeds for their land, free health services especially for pregnant women and children and electricity.
He criticised National Super Alliance (NASA) co-principals Raila Odinga, Kalonzo Musyoka, Musalia Mudavadi, Moses Wetang’ula and Isaac Rutto, saying they had nothing to offer Kenyans.
“Hospitals have been improved and expectant mothers are delivering free of charge. We have the standard gauge railway in place. We also ensured Lamu road is constructed. We urge you to re-elect us so that we can finish the remaining part,” said Mr Kenyatta.
President Kenyatta issued 800 title deeds to squatters in Mpeketoni, with other titles being issued to the Manda squatters in Kizingitini, Lamu East.
Deputy President William Ruto called on residents to elect a government that performs rather than relying on rhetoric.
“Our opponents have been in leadership for years but they couldn’t do what we have done for Kenyans. We are confident of defeating them come August 8 elections since they have nothing to show.
“We urge you to come out in large numbers on August 8 in order to ensure we form the next government,” said Mr Ruto.