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VAS

Changing face of security under devolution

ARTS & CULTURE
By Maftah Yusuf | March 26th 2016

NAIROBI: Now that it is no secret your average leader has at least two handguns and a rifle, we might as well declare this a cowboy state.

Do not be surprised when the bullets begin to fly, especially if the general in charge of Interior matters does not slow down his tanks. Throw in a certain colonial era chieftain with an American accent and you know we are back in the Wild West. I know you would like to imagine that with gringos like this we can settle the Migingo issue once and for all. But our breed of cowboys do not draw on account of disputed borders. If Uganda ever lays claim to Mt Kenya, that can never bother our gun toting boys. Their only concern is their political ambitions.

You try telling one that his presidential prospects in 2032 look bad and you may end up sucking on the cold muzzle of a gun. If say we deployed them to Migingo, they would fly in and demand that all residents register as voters in readiness for 2017. “Ugandan soldiers arrested the clerks and took the biometric kit for testing in Kampala,” some oppressed resident will report. Our armed politicos will of course not take that lying down. They will engage with Museveni’s army over the issue and I can assure you after the matter is settled, Migingo will be confirmed as Kenya territory. There is no way they can allow stealing of voters in the run up to an important election like the one we are anticipating in 2017.

These Muchachos have their militia, handpicked men who will take a bullet for the governor or senator as the case may be. And as though that battalion is not enough, we just got wind that this battalion has been reinforced with an average seven armed bodyguards from the Kenya Police, guys for whom they pay rent and school fees if our insider information is anything to go by. Reinforce that army with County askaris and you will not be surprised if one of them wakes up one day and declares himself commander-in-chief of his respective county.

So do not be surprised when some county CEOs have taken it upon themselves to supply swanky policing cruisers to their kamjesh to rival the local national Police with their old Land Cruisers. These people have resigned to the fact that they have a mandate to fulfill on behalf of their boss and will do their best to earn their keep. Therefore, let not anyone imagine that you can disarm a county askari without a fight.

If it comes down to business, the national government can hardly outgun these forces. If only we could be assured that threats to our nationhood and peace are met with the combined force of the national government and devolved firepower, we would sleep easier. But if these mashinani forces are only unleashed during by elections to terrorise opposition and those who do not subscribe to your coalition ideology, then we have a problem.

Unless of course we are allowed to enlist. Our lowest moment is when we are forced to standby by innocently when others are having all the fun. We would not mind being part of Eurobond, Chickengate or even the local militia. Equitable sharing of all opportunity is we want.

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