Making Economic Sense of Terrorism and gangs in Kenya

Mombasa leaders protest failure to end insecurity

Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho (R) and County Commissioner Nelson Marwaon June 1, 2014. Business, religious and civil society leaders as well as ordinary people in Mombasa  say they are tired  of insecurity and want Joho and Marwa to work as  team. PHOTO | LABAN WALLOGA | FILE

Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho (R) and County Commissioner Nelson Marwaon June 1, 2014. Business, religious and civil society leaders as well as ordinary people in Mombasa say they are tired of insecurity and want Joho and Marwa to work as team. PHOTO | LABAN WALLOGA | FILE  NATION MEDIA GROUP

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Business, religious and civil society leaders as well as ordinary people in Mombasa say they are tired of insecurity.

Tuesday, they condemned escalating violence and general insecurity and told the national and county governments to restore normalcy.

The groups spoke in the wake of the killing of five people — two on Monday night and three on Sunday — by hooded men.

The Monday night killings happened in the town’s central business district of Kenyatta Avenue and the Sunday one in Soweto, Likoni.


The leaders told Governor Ali Hassan Joho and County Commissioner Nelson Marwa to stop their war of words and work together to stamp out the insecurity, which has become a major threat to the local economy.

In a statement read by Bishop Tee Nalo and his deputy, Bishop Paul Mwura at Darajani Hotel, The Kenya National Congress of Pentecostal Churches and Ministries said: “Our leaders should put political differences aside and tackle insecurity together. We cannot afford to leave security in the hands of just a few people.”

They asked Mr Joho to forge good working relations with Mr Marwa. “Their differences only make it easy for our enemies to hurt us,” they said.

The leaders urged the government to accept positive criticism and the Opposition to appreciate to err is human. “We believe that our nation is under a serious security threat,” they said.

The NGOs Muslims for Human Rights, Haki Africa and Huria also urged Mr Joho and Mr Marwa to tackle insecurity jointly and avoid the state’s divisive strategy.

They also urged Muslims to stage a demonstration on Friday against this strategy with or without a permit.

The Kenya Association of Hotelkeepers and Caterers Coast Branch urged President Kenyatta and his administration to act fast on insecurity before investor confidence is eroded.

“The situation is slowly getting out of hand and we are concerned, since the bombing of the Paradise Hotel in Kikambala in 2002. Insecurity in the entire Kenyan coast has kept on deteriorating” its chairman Sam Ikwaye said.

“The confidence has gone down tremendously. Even the small investors who want to set up pubs and restaurants are wary of investing,” he said.

He added: “We are slowly drifting to a point of no return; the Government needs to realise that states that have failed started this way.”

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1 Response to Making Economic Sense of Terrorism and gangs in Kenya

  1. Making economic Sense out of terrorism and gang related violence.

    The resources of any entity are its greatest asset. Solutions to challenges can be found in the full and effective use of resources. The more imaginative the use of the resources, the more effective they will be.
    Take for example the challenges faced by illegal guns and “gun buyback” programs offering monetary compensation without legal consequences for the destruction and surrender of the guns.
    This was the imaginative use of the resources of the state to resolve a problem. In some of the studies conducted it was found that the gun buyback programs “contributed to the observed reduction in firearm related mortality.”(1)

    These gun buyback programs have been implemented in the USA, Brazil, Australia, Argentina and other countries. Although it is not a panacea or cure all and all guns have not disappeared in those countries not has crime also disappeared, it certainly has its merits. (2)

    The cost benefit analysis that underlies such a decision weighed highly in favour of the use of the states resources – in this case money.
    When we closely examine this evidently imaginative solution, we can extrapolate two elements that can be applied to a more grievous threat in Kenya today. That of marauding gangs and terrorism.

    1) Monetization as the incentive: in order to mobilize the citizenry into action and utilize the vast reserves of human labor, any problem can be monetized to provide the incentive needed for human labor to move into action. This includes every watchful eye with a view for monetary gain or organized private individuals who are more familiar with their native terrain. Love for country and family, care for ones own life and limb, can be greatly complimented by the powerful force of monetization. The cost benefit analysis for this is resoundingly clear as more resources would be poured ineffectively into a military and police based strategy of intelligence gathering that does not compensated local labor pools.

    2) A virtual net: With approximately 82% (3) of Adult Kenyans owning mobile phones to communicated with each other the potential to create a virtual net of informative report based communication is self-evident. The statistics on mobile phone ownership in Kenya are staggering. Taking advantage of this communication medium can have far reaching consequences especially when combining a monetary incentive with toll-free telecommunication to reporting centers. This approach not only makes the use of the capital resources (mobile phones) more effective but virtually guarantees that a virtual net be closed on perpetrators. The alternative strategy of relying on government intelligence resources and negating the 82% potential is a large opportunity cost.

    The more effective use of national resources at the disposal of the government makes more economic sense than resorting to the higher opportunity cost.

    1. Wikimedia Foundation. “.” Wikipedia. (accessed July 23, 2014).

    2. David Lenis, Lucas Ronconi, Ernesto Schargrodsky (September 27, 2010). “The Effect of the Argentine Gun Buy-Back Program on Crime and Violence” (unpublished paper). Retrieved May 22, 2013.

    3. “Emerging nations catching up to U.S. on technology adoption, especially mobile and social media use.” Pew Research Center RSS. (accessed July 23, 2014).

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