The National Police Service has expressed a worrying concern over a possibility of chaos during next year’s general elections, where senior politicians are using a network of leaders across the country to recruit young men into militias, to mount defiance against the police.
Some officers have also reported to their seniors they believe the violence targeting them during protests is planned by illegal groups exploiting demonstrations to make a comeback ahead of the elections.
According to Peter Mwanzo, the Kasarani Sub-County Police commander, there is a growing spirit of defiance to the police, especially among young people. He was speaking to a local publication when interviewed about the recent Kahawa West demonstrations which saw the police battle a militia of close to 3,000 young men.
“I do not know to whose benefit this is, as what started as a response to a distress call over looting protesters swelled into a full-blown protest that appeared well organised by some illegal group against the police,” he said.
“The traders affected by the demolitions comprised about 30 people but the protesters were about 3,000 young men from Dandora, Soweto, Kamae, Kariobangi, Kasabuni, and so forth, some of whom were armed with knives and pangas and pelting our officers with stones,” the commander narrated.
Afraid of being overrun by the group, the officer says they were forced to call for police reinforcements of close to 300 uniformed and plainclothes officers and GSUs from Kasarani, Santon, Mwiki, Central, Langa’ta, Embakasi, and other stations.
”Some of us suffered injuries but none of that was highlighted by the media or by the human rights groups. The focus was on the man who was unfortunately shot by what I strongly believe was a stray bullet. If we are not careful, all these buildings and developments that have taken years to build will be brought down in one day by such habits. If something is not done, then we are on our way to anarchy.”
According to multiple sources within the security sector, the group responsible for recruiting the gang around Nairobi pays an individual Sh. 1000 for a day of chaos and anarchy. They are organized groups always ready to get into an assignment when called upon, in any part of Nairobi.
”Stolen money from the government is unleashed in the slums. After political harambees, the pockets are open for 2022 militias. It is going to be lucrative being a goon. Especially to hungry and angry youths,” one source said.