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Religious leaders unite to counter insecurity

Religious leaders in Busia County are now appealing to the National government to in-cooperate key stakeholders to address the insecurity menace in the county.

Leaders want the security agencies to work closely with stakeholders to effectively address the situation.

Speaking at a Busia hotel during a meeting with top county security chiefs led by the local County Commissioner Sam Ojwang the religious leaders criticized the committee over laxity to engage concerned parties to collectively secure the county.

Ojwang said there is a need for all citizens to work with security units to curb the insecurity.

He urged the public to relay information that will help nab thugs in security prone areas like Nambale town, Malaba town and areas of Matayos within Busia County.

The county commissioner noted that insecurity hinders development of any town as it discourages investors hence making cost of lives unbearable.

“A human security assessment is an effective tool for identifying threats to sustainable development and the factors that cause vulnerability of communities due to their geographic, demographic, and socio-cultural differences, and variations in the nature of institutions for development in their communities,” added CC Ojwaang.

His sentiments were echoed by Bishop George Odhiambo of Joe Ministry who warned security leaders in the county against blame games and accusations and counter accusations among politicians, security, residents.

“Small and Medium businessmen have been the main target of the criminals in the past months. We have lost over 7 lives in Busia town as a result of insecurity, the main target being Mpesa operators,” said Bishop Odhiambo.

Proliferation of various ideologically-linked violent extremist networks and groups has threatened the stability of Busia County and challenged the sanguinity of peaceful coexistence.

Growing number of youths involved in smuggling activities and other illegal activities remains a nightmare to the security of the county.

Bishop John Sireka who was once a victim of insecurity on his hand said, religious actors are important in countering violent extremism because of their unique positions of authority, credibility, institutional resources and ties with communities.

Sireka challenged all business communities in the county to indulge in a healthy business competition that allows growth for all parties.

“We are closely connected to the inimitable position of authority and credibility of these faith leaders. They play a powerful role in shaping attitudes, opinions and behaviors of their members because of the trust they have in these leaders. Religious leaders therefore should leverage this attribute to positively promote spiritual values and virtues like peaceful coexistence and dispel divisive propaganda spread by groups of thugs in town,” said Bishop Sireka.

By Absalom Namwalo

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