NAIROBI -AN upsurge of criminal gangs, political thugs and militias has been noted in Kenya, raising fears of bloodshed in the forthcoming election.
Politicians have been blamed for the ugly trend.
This is carried in a 43-page report by the National Security Council (NSC), headed by President Uhuru Kenyatta, ahead of the poll.
“The heightening political temperature in view of the 2017 general elections has seen the resurgence of criminal gangs, political goons and militias,” the fourth Annual State of National Security Report says.
“These criminal groups have continued to hamper security efforts in some parts of the country, thereby slowing economic development,” the report states.
Organized criminal groups are allegedly taking advantage of the campaign to offer services, such as protection, to candidates.
The report cites political incitement as one factor driving land invasions ongoing and deadly violence in central and northern Kenya.
It also cites the proliferation spread of illegal small arms and light weapons contributing to violence and crime in general.
Meanwhile, chaos and allegations of vote rigging have marred preparations.
Campaigns have been characterised by disruption of political events,robberies, beatings, assassinations and shootings.
This points to a recurrence of the 2007/08 poll violence.
Up to 1 500 people were killed and 600 000 displaced.
– CAJ News