By FRANCIS ONTOMWA
A report warns there is rise in the number of illegal and criminal gangs as the country prepares for the General Election.
Kenya National Dialogue and Reconciliation (KNDR) report says the increase in illegal groupings threatens free and fair elections.
It recommends that police should take tough measures to eliminate the groups that may scuttle the electoral process. KNDR says resurgence of such groups is commonplace during elections because political leaders use them against their opponents.
The report indicates past reviews show efforts to uproot the groups have been unproductive since they work with influential politicians.
KNDR has further faulted Government’s response towards the groups stating it lacks a clear and effective strategy.
“There are conflicting positions in this respect. While some would like to negotiate and understand their grievances, others argue against this approach and this is where confusion arises,” reads the report in part.
Veronica Kiluva of Centre for Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance at Masinde Muliro University, said the Government should disband the groupings.
“There is no point negotiating with criminal groups. The most rational thing is to unearth underlying forces behind the groups and find ways to disband them,” she offered.
Dr Kiluva said criminal gangs should not be allowed to thrive during electioneering period adding that trying to give them audience will amount to legalising their heinous activities.
The report cautions that without a coherent and common voice against the groups, it is possible that they will affect electoral process.