Insecurity in the country: it’s link to increased vulnerability among the Kenyan Population

Haki yako

On March 4th, we Kenyans have an opportunity to determine how we shall be governed. We have to analyze  those vying for positions and look at their track records. It is important to remember that when policies go wrong we suffer together as people of the same nation. We need to be cautious of cunning politicians!

Story by Michael Mungai Nyambura

Over the last several months, Kenya has witnessed one of the darkest eras since independence. Tribal clashes and subsequent retaliatory attacks that led to the loss of tens of lives, and others injured and homeless in Tana River; grenade detonations in public areas of Nairobi, Mombasa and Garrissa leaving scores of people dead, children orphaned others in hospitals with medical bills to cover. Violent attacks in Mathare slums leaving individuals dead, injured, houses were burnt and property destroyed, this period has also seen the greatest loss of members of the uniformed forces in the country. More than 40 members of the force were ambushed and killed in Baragoi, the attacks in Garrissa led to the deaths of several members of both the police and army.

All this loss of lives will lead in the long run to increased levels of insecurity and reduced economic growth in the country. One by one, the number of members in the armed forces is dwindling day by day. The ratio  of police to population is one police to every 800. For instance, when 40 police men lost their lives in Baragoi, 32,000 individuals were left without the services and protection  That was not the last instance of the loss of lives by the members of the forces last ear This added to the loss of lives to grenade attacks poor and lower middle income families have lost their sole breadwinners. Those who survived but have injuries have medical bills to cover, families to cater for and they also need to come up with new ways of generating incomes. With the current economic conditions, it is very clear how scarce it is to get a job  even for individuals who are physically fit and with the best academic transcripts, how hard then, will life be for individuals who have been incapacitated?

There has been widespread destruction of poverty, the whole town of Garrissa was torched to the ground, how has the livelihood of the people who made a living by conducting business in the town been affected? Houses in Mathare slums have also been torched which is very sad as we are familiar with how difficult it usually is to stock up a house in order to make it a home. The individuals whose houses have been torched, what measures will they take to restore their homes to previous or even better conditions? Will they be overwhelmed by hatred first and decide to retaliate against their neighbors or with they engage in not so lawful means to achieve their goals? It is easier to assume that they will turn their cheek and decide to pick up their lives and move on without harboring any hatred.

Children have been left orphans with no one to neither pay their school fees nor provide their basic meals for them. What options for survival do they have? Move in with their relatives, most especially their old grandparents in rural areas? Or hit the streets and live as street kids? Whichever their option will be, it will be, just for as a survival tactic, an most probably than not: they will be forced to drop from school, engage in provision of labor and when things get out of hand, they will engage in drugs. The children of today, are the workers, managers, doctors, clergy, inventors lawyer of tomorrow to mention just but a few. If the future of the children of today who find themselves in situations of vulnerability due to insecurity in the nation is allowed to go into waste, then we should be confident that our future won’t be devoid of trigger happy thugs, rapists, conmen and traffickers. But how can we ensure that they don’t yield into vulnerability and waste their lives?

Insecurity leads to vulnerability. Individuals are left with little or no opportunities of bettering their lives and are prone to fall victims to all forms of manipulations and exploitations. They might be coerced to join gangs and mette out brutality on their neighbors which  serves only to create a cycle of violence. Little girls may be forced to offer their bodies for sexual exploitation so as to put ugali on the table or see their siblings go through school while other individuals may be trafficked and exploited to other towns or countries simply because they were in such of opportunities to raise some money to rebuild their house, cover a medical bill or take their children to school.

On March 4th, we Kenyans have an opportunity to determine how the above issues and others likely to arise in the future will be addressed by those who will govern us. We have to analyze what those vying for positions are offering, and look at their track records. In periods culminating to elections, we get to look at each other and to those vying for governing positions from tribal perspectives, yes, we might be as divided and independent as the fingers but when policies go wrong let us remember that we suffer together as united as the hand. As such there arises the need to shun voting on tribal lines and the need to look at each other as fellow Kenyans, sons and daughters of the same land. We only need to be cautious of cunning politicians, those addicted to power, who go down on their knees seeking for votes but only have their asses to show us when they are in office.

All this leaves us with one question, who is to be blamed for the all time high increased insecurity in the country?

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