News 2008


Militia Groups Are a Worrying Phenomenon

Business Daily (Nairobi)


2 March 2008

Norman Mudibo


That there are people preparing to disturb the peace is really worrying.

That these illegal and secretive armed groups could be having high level backing is certainly shocking.

That we have professionals and possibly retired officers from the armed forces involved in such activities needs to be strongly condemned and the full force of the law applied.

Militia groups act on the basis that certain initiatives that would have helped improve their lot or stopped certain perceived injustices are not forthcoming through legally established ways.

They may then engage or get involved in activities or even form entities to fill a perceived unmet need.

The emergence and perpetuation of such groups is a worldwide phenomenon, more advanced in countries like the US where they continue to cause a number of problems for law enforcement machinery and communities where such groupings thrive.

I believe we have a justice and law enforcement system in place that is up to the gigantic task of ensuring lives and property are protected and that any injustice is thoroughly punished.

I'm certain that we have a system that would suppress such illegal emergence of secret armies for I do not want to think that the latest turn of events though not fully blown out has moved or appears to move beyond the control of government.

The government owes the people an explanation. We need assurance that things will not get any worse than we have witnessed.

We should not allow such ethnic based groups to thrive, they should be disbanded and forever keep their peace, otherwise we might nurture a situation where they would even demand to be recognised as part of the official security system.

We ought to avoid a situation where security responsibilities might be enforced not by a unified but by a diverse group of potentially feuding entities that could deepen divisions that may already exist.

We need to re-examine ourselves and address the weaknesses that exist in our justice and correctional system as a way of correcting the past wrongs and laying the path to ensure we secure fairness in resource allocation.

All these should be entrenched in a new constitutional dispensation in which the population will feel protected, cared for and accommodated irrespective of where they come from.