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Nyumba Kumi the surest way to enhance security in Kenya, says Joseph Kaguthi

Wednesday October 22 2014

Nyumba Kumi initiative chairman Joseph Kaguthi.

Nyumba Kumi initiative chairman Joseph Kaguthi. He has said that Kenyans’ participation in security matters was the surest way to help them realise their mandate as per the Constitution. PHOTO | JOSEPH KANYI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

JAMES KARIUKI
By JAMES KARIUKI
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Kenyans could soon have a greater part to play in ensuring their own security if the Nyumba Kumi initiative curriculum is adopted and enforced as a policy by the government.

The initiative’s chairman, Joseph Kaguthi, has said that Kenyans’ participation was the surest way to help realise their mandate as per the Constitution.

He said this way, the citizens dictate how they want to be governed via a devolved system of governance unlike before where everything began from the central government and trickled down to the people.

“The Constitution has citizen participation as a core pillar in helping realise the aspirations of Kenyans as a people.

“It is not for us to beg anymore for anything but to come up with specific measures and recommendations on how our security will be guaranteed.

"The days when all matters security belonged to the government are long gone,” he said in an exclusive interview with Nation.co.ke.

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Speaking on the side-lines of a three-day symposium for the Nyumba Kumi initiative cluster leaders in Naivasha, Mr Kaguthi said Kenyans must live up to what they voted for and actively participate in all aspects that make life better.

“If the people in a given area point out a suspect or a drinking den to the police, it is up to the police to abide by that 'advice’ as a way of curbing consumption of illicit brews or interrogating that suspect.

“The era of leaving everything to the government is long gone and Kenyans must know we are in charge now,” Mr Kaguthi said.

Under the previous constitution, the government worked to perpetuate a regime’s stay in power but the current one deeply entrenches the interests of Kenyans at different points from clean water, housing, security, health, roads, rights and much more, he added.

Mr Kaguthi said that it was the duty of all Kenyans to change their attitude towards what goes on within and without their lives so as to actively participate in making Kenya a better place to live in.

“Previously, forests, wildlife, lakes, rivers, town’s cleanliness, among other things, were handled by the respective arms of government. But the Constitution now says it is individual Kenyans who are to take charge of all that matters in their lives,” he said.

It is this shift that necessitated the formation of the Nyumba Kumi initiative where the task of government enforcement agencies will be to answer questions on various matters as pointed out by the people.

“This Constitution recognises the people as the core, not the regime and that is where we have to understand our new role as Kenyans.

“Money is here for our counties to individually decide what is good for us unlike in the past when all the thinking was done in Nairobi and executed without the people’s participation,” he added.

To succeed, Mr Kaguthi said, the people must form partnerships with enforcement agencies where prompt action is taken to safeguard life from danger of attacks, pollution, accidents, collapse of buildings or anything that goes against the laid down rules.

“The enforcement agencies must listen to the people and prevent unwholesome drinks, foodstuffs and even water from being sold to members of the public who pay taxes to fund the operations of the agencies,” he added.

Mr Kaguthi added that all Kenyans must agree to contribute to safety and security within communities as a matter of right and not for any gain in form of salaries or stipend.