Security agencies are on high alert as the Christmas festivities kick off in Kenya, following recent terro’r atta’cks in neighboring Uganda. They are monitoring the security situation in the country and along the common borders.
Three people were killed and 33 injured in two explosions which rocked Uganda’s capital, Kampala, on Tuesday, November 16.
Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i on Thursday, November 19 confirmed that security checks at airports and Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) stations had been beefed up, with travelers during the busy Christmas period likely to experience inconveniences.
He spoke at Kamiti Maximum Security Prison in Nairobi where three terr’or convicts who had escaped were returned after being apprehended in Kitui. They were reportedly spotted by locals who informed authorities that the escapees had purchased food items in cash at a small shopping centre and asked for directions to Boni Forest.
“We have changed the screening system to the airport, we have changed the screening system at the SGR and you are going to notice that.”
“Fellow Kenyans, you will be inconvenienced because we are not in the normal space at the moment. We have raised the level of alert and we must be careful about what we do around here,” Matiang’i noted.
Government Spokesperson Col. (Rtd) Cyrus Oguna had on November 16 issued a public advisory on security citing the atta’cks in neighbouring countries.
“We urge all citizens to be vigilant while in places of high human traffic and to promptly report any suspicious character, behaviour, movement, or unattended parcels to the nearest police officer or police station,” he stated.
The Christmas period in Kenya brings with it increased travel activity with many going upcountry or to various vacation destinations such as the Coast.
Bus companies have reported being overwhelmed with bookings for the festive season as individuals look to avoid the fare hikes that come with higher demand for travel.