Explaining Kenya’s insecurity: The weak state, corruption, banditry and terrorism
Ombaka, Dick M.
MetadataShow full item record
In the past few years Kenya has become increasingly insecure. Internally, it has experienced rampant banditry that continues to claim tens of lives. This banditry is also manifestly aimed at showing the impotence of the police who they seem to kill at will. The net effect of this insecurity is that the state is now only nominally in control of the region that has been dubbed Kenya’s “arc of insecurity”. This region straddles 12 out of Kenya’s 47 counties and accounts for more than one-half of Kenya’s territory. Urban areas have not been spared either and terrorist attacks conducted by the Al Shabaab terrorist organization are becoming more frequent and more deadly. This has seen the state increasingly turn to the military as a solution to what are basically policing problems. This paper argues that Kenya’s weakness as a state emanates not only from long-standing inequitable policies but also from endemic corruption that has severely compromised the institutions of security of the state including the police and the armed forces. The weaknesses that affect the security arms of the state can largely be attributed to the widespread corruption that not only interferes with the collection and use of accurate intelligence but the procurement of effective equipment that are needed to deal with the emerging security threats. Should the state fail to eliminate or significantly reduce the levels of corruption then Kenya may well be headed for failure as a state.