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Politicians grooming militia for war

EDITORIALS

State should act on report about militias


Publication Date: 2/23/2008

A report by the International Crisis Group claiming that politicians were grooming militia in readiness for war should the peace talks collapse, cannot be taken lightly. In fact, it should be a wake-up call to the authorities, particularly the police, to keenly monitor what is going on across the country.

Both the Government and the Opposition know very well that a more brutal and vicious fight is likely if the peace deal being brokered by Kofi Annan team hits a brickwall. Members of various communities are aware of the grave dangers looming on the horizon and none is willing to take chances. 

Even if politicians may not be involved, there are mobs waiting in the wings to take the law into their hands should their wishes not be fulfilled at the discussion table.

These mobs of idle youths have come to believe that they are on a mission to protect their communities from real or perceived marginalisation or provocation from rival ethnic groups. 

Most of them started off as youth wingers for politicians, but now that their first duty was done in December, they are angling for further tasks, which, in this case, is fighting to either wrestle back the power stolen from them, or protect it if their candidate was declared the winner.

After the violence in January, some of these groups have styled themselves into war gangs and even sought dangerous ammunition in readiness for any further fight.

At any rate, there are known groups like Mungiki, Baghdad Boys, Sungusungu, Jeshi la Mzee and Angola-Msumbiji, among others, which though dormant, can easily be resurrected to do battle. Only the other day, police arrested scores of Mungiki sect adherents in Nairobi under circumstances suggesting that they were out for mischief.

These are issues that cannot be taken lightly. A thorough investigation of the militia claims is paramount. This country is sitting on a time bomb and the Government must keep alert lest shadowy gangs run loose to cause mayhem under the guise of fighting a political cause.

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About SG

Secretary general of Chama Cha Mwananchi. This blog www.chamachamwananchi.wordpress.com, is based in Sweden.

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