President Uhuru Kenyatta signs new security laws

Friday December 19 2014

By MARTIN KINYANJUI
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President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday signed into law the Security Laws (Amendment) Act 2014.

The law was passed in Parliament during a chaotic special sitting of the National Assembly held on Thursday.

In an address from State House soon after signing the law, the President said there is nothing in the new law that contradicts the Bill of Rights or the Constitution.

President Kenyatta said all concerns raised by different stakeholders were addressed through amendments.

He thanked the National Assembly for passing the Bill despite what he called the “deplorable conduct of a few individuals”, who he said were oblivious of the security threats facing the country.

He urged Kenyans to take time to read and understand the new law.

He said new the law gives security actors a firm institutional framework for dealing with terrorism.

"This law gives our security actors a firm institutional framework for coherent cooperation and synergy within the national counter-terrorism centre.

EMERGING CRIMES

"This synergy is cascaded from the highest to the lowest level through the national government security structures," President Kenyatta said.

The President also said that the law will help in dealing with emerging crimes such as cross-border crimes such as poaching, adding that these offences call for a radical approach in dealing with them.

The new law now sets a higher threshold for public officers charged with the responsibility of protecting Kenyans, the President said.

He called on Kenyans to help in giving effect to the law.

President Kenyatta also revealed that there would be wide-scale administrative reforms to help improve the operational effectiveness of the new law.

He said the law was only an instrument among many measures that would be put in place in order to improve security.

"While we now have this important law, it is critical to appreciate that it is only one instrument among the many measures that we need to put in place in order to guarantee our security.

"We must all remember that we are still at war and vulnerable to terror attacks," said the President.