Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta knows his country is riddled with illegal firearm manufacturers.
He offered the illegal gun makers jobs at a new and legitimate weapons manufacturing facility in Ruiru.
“We have seen a variety of home-made weapons. It’s first of all negative but it is also positive, and I want to make an offer,” President Kenyatta said.
“Kenya has started making small firearms. Come to us and lets give you a steady job to make legal weapons, grow the economy and help keep your country safe.”
President Kenyatta made the proposal at a publicity stunt outside of Nairobi where he burned over 5,144 illegal guns.
Kenya’s amnesty for those who surrender their illegal guns is the source of most of the weapons destroyed and that amnesty was extended to anyone in possession of an illegal firearm.
“An illegal gun makes you less safe, not more safe,” said the Kenyan President.
“It doesn’t matter how good your intentions are. An illegal weapon makes you a criminal and liable to the full force of the law. If you have any security issues please come forward. Your responsibility is to engage the government and not to take the law into your own hands.”
The push to rid Kenya of illegal guns is part of a larger program in the African Union called ‘Silencing the Guns in Africa by the year 2020’ created in 2016. [See PDF Roadmap]
While the illegal gun eradication project did not meat its deadline, Kenya claims they’ve made significant progress toward it.
But the program overall faces significant hurdles, including lack of financial and human resources to implement the project, limited visibility and a lack of coordination among African Union member states.
“By publicly destroying illicit weapons, Kenya once again openly demonstrates that we are determined and ready to face the challenges posed by small arms and light weapons,” Kenyatta said.
Anyone interested in President Kenyatta’s job offer should contact security officers, renounce their criminal past and apply for government employment.