The government will not allow places of worship to be hijacked by criminals bent on destroying the country, Deputy President William Ruto has warned.
He said that recent security operations had discovered armouries in mosques where guns, grenades and bomb-making materials, crude weapons including machetes and knives were kept.
“Our security forces will stop at nothing in their duty to pursue terrorists and their accomplices wherever they are,” Ruto said.
He said that other radicalized propaganda literature and Al Shabaab insignia including flags not holy books were found stored in these houses of worship.
“It is completely unacceptable that would-be holy places can be turned into battle pavilions and holding grounds for artillery meant to inflict injury, suffering and death to Kenyans,” said Ruto.
Ruto was addressing a press conference on Sunday at his Harambee house office in the light of the terror attack on a bus in Mandera that killed 28 people.
Ruto however, noted government has no intention of taking over places of worship, but warned those opposing measures being undertaken by security forces in a cleanup operation.
“Instead of supporting the government’s cleanup operation, they have chosen to castigate the Security Forces, these people cite the constitutional guarantees for the freedom of worship and claim that the security forces have violated this right,” he said.
He stated that leadership comes with responsibility and adding such individuals should cease from whipping up emotions amongst communities, and to offer terrorists and their sympathisers a false sense of comfort.
Ruto was categorical that as far as law enforcement was concerned, a church, synagogue, mosque, shrine or any other place of worship becomes a scene of crime once it is used for criminal activities.
He said that all those engaging in hate speech will be dealt with according to the law.
“The Government takes great exception to this type of leadership that promotes hate-speech and incitement of Kenyans and will hold those responsible accountable for every utterance and action that promotes disharmony and war-like activities,”he said.
Ruto reiterated Government’s commitment to assure the safety and security of every Kenyans and visitors wherever they are.