Police deployment to Haiti to proceed on 'by hook or crook'

President William Ruto inspecting Guard of Honour during the 49th General Service Unit Passing out Parade, Embakasi, Nairobi County. [PCS]

Kenya will honour its pledge to deploy 1,000 policemen to Haiti, even after its Prime Minister Ariel Henry capitulated under pressure from goons who control the capital city, multiple sources have confirmed.

This is a swift departure from the initial government response in the aftermath of Henry’s departure, arguing that a legal framework was necessary to coordinate Kenyan policemen’s deployment.

“We are learning the hard way that so-called Government-to-Government deals are just a way of delaying or derailing business. The real deal is to let the private sector run the show,” said a government source who sought anonymity to speak freely on the matter.

It is understood that the private sector participation in the G-to-G deal will not be made public or seek parliamentary approval because the government has adequate latitude to conceal it under the cloak of “national security.” This principle is regularly invoked to conceal military or police hardware procurements.

“You know how it goes here,” the source intimidated. “Give Kenyans even a whiff of what you want to do and obstacles are instantly erected. I don’t want to simplify this, but a relatable experience is driving on our roads at rush hour. Flash an indicator to show you intend to turn provokes a surge of vehicles on parallel lanes to ensure you don’t turn.”

The metaphor of driving to Haiti, however, seems misplaced; swimming is more like it. And since one is unlikely to swim in a storm, no matter how skilled, it’s a virtual drowning, which is how many analysts see the building crisis in Haiti.

Gangs have overrun the capital city of Port-au-Prince and thousands have been displaced from their homes, precipitating torrents of communicable diseases and acute food shortages. But rather than send in medics and humanitarian workers, Kenya is deploying the troops.

“Actually, troops are a misnomer here,” the source went on. “We are sending in goons. As our elders say, dawa ya moto ni moto. Fire is countered with more fire. So, the gangs of Haiti will be dealt by our goons! You can’t quote me on that, but that’s the plain truth.”

This diplomatic and strategic shift, it is understood, was mooted by the Kitchen Cabinet. “It was epiphanic. We all appreciated not just the value of making such a shift, but also the low political risks associated with the move. It’s what we call a win-win situation,” said the source.

Under this arrangement, illegal militias that were last deployed in the 2007/08 post-polls mayhem will be encouraged to mobilise their troops under a county-wide command.

“The decision of ensuring proper national representation was a dicey one. We didn’t want a situation where we risk being accused of sending members of a particular community to sure death, returning in body-bags. By making a national recruitment drive, the political risk considerably was whittled down.

Under this arrangement, militias from different regions like Chinkororo, Mungiki, Jeshi la Mzee, Taliban and the Mombasa Republican Army, among others, will be lured through phantom recruitment agencies with promise of jobs abroad.

“We were both puzzled and elated at how this silver bullet had eluded us. Kenyans are scammed every day and we couldn’t believe that we hadn’t thought of it earlier. I mean, we do orchestrate scams, but this was the singular opportunity when wrongdoing would be done in good faith.”

Once the militias are assembled under a proposed acronym of Jambazi, which is drawn from the different entities, they will be deployed to Haiti disguised as hawkers, fishermen, shoeshines, and rally hecklers.

“There is a particular anxiety that members of the Mombasa Republican Army might want to break away and create their autonomous homeland in Haiti, given its tropical weather and coastline. But still, that would only blur the true intents of the deployment,” gushed another independent analyst who is familiar with the development.

As for the motivations of Kenya leading world troops in the restoration of order in Haiti, the analyst was categorical: “Many theories have been put forth, but nothing makes sense from a geopolitical point of view. Nothing makes sense. But then, nothing has ever made sense in the last 18 months.”

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