Thursday, July 19, 2007

State Failure & the Economic Rise of Mungiki(Pt. 2)

The proper role of government is to secure every citizen’s rights, freedoms and property. Failure to perform this role could lead to chaos, anarchy and the eventual collapse of society. But since individuals are inherently entrepreneurial, they step-in and start providing services neglected by the state. This becomes a new way of earning their living—exactly how Mungiki, Kamjesh, and the Taliban evolved.

These groups expand quickly due to high demand for their services. Unfortunately, individual expansion attracts the attention of fellow competitors. There also exists one major problem: none of them can rightful claim ownership of the matatu route or the slum neighborhood in contention. They solve such problems through violent battles that are usually won by the most violent among them. The fight does not end there; the government, which had shamelessly neglected its duty, is quick to declare the competing groupings illegal, and consequently use its police power to enforce that order. The most dominant grouping does not sit back and watch; it vows to protect its existence to the last man.

That explanation resembles Mungiki’s journey to becoming part of Kenyan life: they chose to work in government neglected areas; faced-off competition; got declared illegal by the state; and are now fighting gun battles with Major General Ali and his forces. The worst is yet to come as the movement starts recruiting from primary schools, and including innocent Kenyans on their casualty list.


nasus said...

To say that these groups have become a menace is an understatement. Recently we have seen that they are now recruiting people as young as those in Primary school which would place those youngsters between the ages of 8-15 years.
This shows that there is something very wrong with the system. While I have got every respect for my Government maybe its time it slowed down from all the political hulla ballo and listen to the "mwananchi's" cry.

The whole world is now looking towards the State to see what action is going to be taken against this menace and as the author has suggested (in his title state failure and economic rise of mungiki) the less nothing is done the faster this groups rise and that in itself is a deadly recipe for disaster.

Wambui said...

very interesting perspective. lakini where is part 1? And I hate to agree with you but if nobody does anything about it, the worst is yet to come

Mgema -the skilled cooper said...

Like Wambui, I wish to see the Part 1 - or is the BBC story. I've thrown in two pennies worth on