Friday, 11 January 2013

KENYA INSECURITY: The Gathering Storm!

There is a furious storm gathering in Kenyan soil which we as Kenyan Citizens have the power and the capability to avert an imminent disaster or simply sit and wait for the gathering storm to come upon Kenyan society and unleash its fury upon our nation with an everlasting devastating effect, that storm is none other than the rising insecurity in almost all corners of Kenya and each day the magnitude of this menace is increasing like a dark cloud over the eastern horizon waiting to burst forth with a torrent of rain only that this time it will not rain water drops but drops of tears and blood until the Kenyan soil will end up being soaked by the floods of tears and blood that will be shed by the once peaceful Kenyans. 
The worst bit is that the problem seems to be getting out of hand with people continuing butchering each other as it is happening In Tana Delta despite heavy presence of police officers and politicians are only continuing with their vote hunting seemingly less concerned with what is threatening to tear this nation apart.
But not unless we unite as Kenyans and deal with the underlying problems that are fueling the gathering storm of insecurity, insecurity in Kenya will only continue to rise despite all the efforts to cover the problem and continue giving Kenyans false hopes that insecurity is coming to an end. Let us have an insight of the factors that are contributing to insecurity in Kenya and how we can possibly deal with them starting at an individual level to the national level. We as Kenyan Citizens have the power and ability to shape the destiny of our nation for better or for worse.
The gathering storm in Kenya.

This is the worst thing to ever happen in the modern society and history is a perfect lesson book of the results of negative ethnicity with perfect examples as Rwanda and Burundi. Kenya has a total of 42 Known tribes. Ethnicity is a major contributing factor for Kenyan insecurity. The most affected areas by negative ethnicity are: - Kalenjin/Kikuyu mostly in Molo, Kalenjin/Kisii mostly in Sotik - Borabu border, Kikuyu/Maasai in Ewaso Kedong, Samburu/Turkana/Pokot in Keiyo, Pokomo/Oroma in Tana Delta. Other tribes in other areas in Kenya even though they may engage in ethnic clashes, other factors play role too as we are going to see.  Some of these ethnic clashes are also fueled by historical feuds between communities but are made worse by some other modern factors. The availability of illegal firearms and modern technology e.g. mobile communication etc is making ethnic clashes assume a more menacing dimension.

Some communities in Kenya still hold to their historical cultures which involved attacking neighboring communities and looting their property among them livestock, scaring other communities away in order to have control over grazing fields and livestock water holes, etc The cattle were stolen to probably to pay bride prices, increase in wealth of a community among other factors. Some communities in Kenya are still holding to these historical and primitive cultures and things get worse since due to modernization the communities no longer use the traditional bow and arrows but now have firearms and weapons. The recent Suguta Valley police massacre is an evidence of the advancements and latest sophistications in these horrible cultural practices i.e. cattle rusting, grazing territory expansion, community displacements etc

Some communities in Kenya depend on livestock for their economic livelihood while others are arable farmers. Due to the increase in population and diminishing natural grazing grounds for livestock keepers, hostilities are emerging as the communities fight to maintain their farms while others wish to expand grazing territories especially during dry season. Tana Delta is a perfect example where among the contributing factors for insecurity, one of them is grazing land. The fights are mostly due to fighting for grazing field, water holes, farming lands and living territories amongst the warring tribes.
Coast province has a separatist group the MRC that is pushing for making coast a country on its own. Even though that is currently impossible, but the truth is, fight for control of natural resources the major being land is the reason why they are fighting. Coast province seems marginalized as the region’s wealth seems to be under the control of mostly people who are not the indigenous coastal tribes and this infuriates coastal people. Moreover, having vast land resources in the hands of few non indigenous people raises questions as to how did they come into possession of the land, who sold the land to them, when and how? What about the claim of ancestral lands as in Coast province? Land issues needs to be addressed if insecurity is to be a thing of the past.

The unequal distribution of wealth is building animosity between the rich and the poor. The poor feel exploited due to factors like rising cost of living, constant or diminishing wages, job scarcity, etc Slum areas like Kibera it is common to find people committing a crime just to earn a living. The young people who are jobless can easily become enticed into engaging in criminal activities in order to survive. The gap between the rich and the poor continue to widen. During political unrest mostly the looters are a gang of marauding youths who happen to be from poor neighborhoods.
Illiteracy levels also in some regions makes them feel marginalized as it would be difficult to have people holding high social positions if they do not have the necessary qualifications to hold the positions, hence the only way to develop the area is to bring in outsiders. This angers some locals but what else can we do?
Politicians are making it even worse as they award themselves hefty sendoff packages to the expense of tax payers. This only serves to heighten tension between the rich and the poor as the poor feel exploited by the rich though their financial power.

There is a serious decline in the moral fabric of the modern society. The are so many factors contributing to this and among them are:- Negative influence from the media, religious blackmail (religious leaders who have the power to influence the society due to their constant and direct contact with the society are busy trying to win more converts into their churches instead of striving to unchanged the evil minded in the society, it is also a matter of question whether Islamic leaders are doing enough to dispel the myth that terrorism is liked to Islam), poor parental guidance, indiscipline in the learning institutions etc. Drug abuse, peer pressures are also factors contributing to moral decline among others.
Lack of a sense of responsibility amongst many Kenyans is rife as many people do not seem to care about the consequences of their words and actions. Idleness and laziness are major vices that influence the youth to engage in crime as they seek to reap from where they did not sow thus engaging in looting, mugging, and thuggery among others.
What about greed from our politicians, business men, modern preachers, robbers both who steal with violence and through tricks, social positions in the community etc? Moral decline is a serious issue fueling hostility amongst Kenyans.
Compare Social Dynamite article.

Politicians are supposed to be very careful with any public utterance as whatever they say will bear fruit sooner or later. Political differences have been known to fuel insecurity especially where the political support is correlated to tribalism. Animosity may develop between tribes or social groups that believe are supporting different political candidates.  There seems to be a correlation between politics as when we are nearing general elections to rising cases of insecurity in Kenya, a clear indicator that politics is a major influencer of insecurity in Kenya.
Politicians exist who incite misplacement of communities who do not support them in order to have an edge of votes from the community supporting Him. Moreover, with politicians seeing their positions as avenues to prosperity and nepotism, it only enrages Kenyans as they seek to get financial gains only from the public instead of offering good governance to their own people.

The fact that a large number of police officers can be killed by criminals is questioning the competence of police officers in dealing with armed criminals. When people continue slaughtering each other in full presence of police men leaves one wondering whether the police men who are there are in a position to deal with the menace. Truly, police intelligence is becoming worse. How about having a man suspected of being a fake cop serving in the police force as a senior officer for 5 year? With all sensitive information he had access to? How many other fake cops are we having?
Criminals also seems of late to have an equal or greater power than that of a regular police man and we hope that the modern police men will be trained to handle the modern criminal who no longer use a panga and a rungu but is armed with a G3 Rifle and AK47, grenades, Bullet proof Jackets etc and have ability to gather intelligence against the police. The number of illegal firearms in the hands of criminals seems like it is increasing and efforts should be done to cut short the trade of firearms in Kenya. This should be a joint effort between the citizens and the police.

It is a common thing in Kenya to have criminals apprehended by security personnel only to have him freed after a day or two since he has proper connections or money for that matter. Criminals have been set free due to bribing the law enforcers or the judiciary. We have had cases of criminals with minor offenses taken behind bars since they did not have enough advocacies while some people with major crimes are being let to go scot free since they have with them powerful lawyers, monetary power among others. The illegal firearm trade in Kenya is also fueled by corruption.
Corruption also amongst the police officers is a major fuel for enhancing insecurity in Kenya. The armed forces are notorious for recruiting selected people who despite not qualifying for the positions, are favored due to their financial power or powerful connections in the society.

Illegal immigrants who are running from war ravaged countries are coming into Kenya still unreformed and with them the evil influence of endangering our security. A notable factor is since Kenya sent forces to Somali Republic to fight against Al-shabaab, Kenya has been experiencing a spate of grenade attacks and armed crimes from Al-Shabaab sympathizers with the security officers being their major target alongside public utilities like churches and bus stops. It is also questionable as to whether these illegal immigrants do not come along with illegal fire arms. The other day a bus was caught ferrying some explosives to Nairobi from Garissa. How many more of these occurrences go undetected?
Moreover, we have illegal immigrants getting national IDs through unscrupulous means.

There are so many other minor factors that contribute towards insecurity in Kenya as they are more or less dependent on prevailing socio-economic situation and current trends on the society. We as Kenyans should make individual efforts to ensure that the peace we once enjoyed is restored. Everybody regardless of social status has a role to play. The work of maintaining peace cannot be left to the police force alone; the ratio of police to people is so small such that assuming the police will maintain peace in Kenya unrealistic.
If we will not take the necessary precautions we will end up as this nation depicted in this article where the dove, a symbol of peace, ended up singing a sepulchral dirge after the nation was torn by a civil war.

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