President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday destroyed 5,144 illegal firearms as he extended an olive branch to makers of homemade guns.
The Head of State was at the Regional Police Traffic Training Centre in Ngong, Kajiado County, where he set ablaze the small arms and light weapons.
According to President Kenyatta, many of the weapons they had recovered appeared to have been assembled locally at home. The weapons owners had voluntarily surrendered the guns, taking up on the government’s amnesty offer. Some, however, had come from work by Kenya’s security agencies.
“We have seen a variety of homemade weapons. First of all, it is negative but also positive,” President Kenyatta said, “I want to make an offer. This is to those who are making illegal guns.
“Come and let’s make legal money and jobs. Come forward and declare that you can make a gun and you will get a job. Don’t wait for the police to come for you.”
1/2 President Uhuru Kenyatta sets on fire 5,144 illicit small arms and light weapons at the Regional Police Traffic Training Centre in Ngong, Kajiado County. pic.twitter.com/Od2PIRo1VT
— State House Kenya (@StateHouseKenya) June 9, 2021
New skills in new gun factory
He said that illegal guns were unsafe and were a menace, stating that the government was ready to face the challenges firearms posed.
He said that the newly opened firearm factory in Ruiru, Kiambu, needed their skills, saying that the factory was running well.
Many homemade guns are often believed to the reason for many violent crimes that involve gun shootouts.
Illegal guns a threat
Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i stated that they had collected over 14,000 guns and over 400,000 bullets from the wrong hands.
The government recently opened a Ksh 4-billion-gun factory in Ruiru, which has an annual capacity of producing 12,000 assault rifles. During the factory opening, President Kenyatta said that it was part of the plan to ensure Kenya was self-reliant in security.
However, the factory’s opening did not come without criticism, with many feeling that it was a sign of misplaced priority from the government.