When in 2013, young men started taking over mosques in coastal Kenya, it produced two sets of narratives; one, the youth were extremists, and two, the youths were reformists. The extremism narrative framing has created a set of policy responses that have exacerbated the problem. The Elephant in conversation with Dr Hawa Noor M., a scholar, and peace and security commentator based in East Africa and Germany.
Criminal incidents in Nairobi are on the rise. The bad, dangerous and ugly days of “Nairoberry” are back. With elections looming, the Jubilee government has all its guns trained on the impending tumultuous polls. An economic meltdown, an underpaid and agitated police service and the election fever — it’s a free-for-all, which has seen the city’s crimes soar to the detriment of its habitats.
This is the first of a series of articles that will discuss some of the major issues at stake, and the roles played by various institutions in safeguarding the integrity of the August 2022 general election.
The Murang’a people are really yet to decide who they are going to vote for as a president. If they have, they are keeping the secret to themselves. Are the Murang’a people prepping themselves this time to vote for one of their own? Can Jimi Wanjigi re-ignite the Murang'a/Matiba popular passion among the GEMA community and re-influence it to vote in a different direction?
Gathanga Ndung’u commemorates activists whose lives were snatched away by Kenya’s brutal capitalism. Activists who launched a war against a system of impunity, a world one hundred times larger, mightier, and older than them, but, Ndung’u explains, that each of them mounted a defence to protect and defend their comrades and communities.
“I don’t hate Mwai Kibaki, I never have. He isn’t a man who caused me to hate; he is someone who broke my heart.”
The consolidation of the country’s political, social and economic assets within one city stifles development and institutionalizes the exclusion of the rest of the country.
Equity is at the heart of the revenue-sharing formula and no one region should benefit at the expense of the other. Kenya as a country will collectively benefit if all regions benefit.
Unless the leaders make good on their statements about using the greater scale of the economic bloc to demand better terms of trade globally, the expanded Community is likely to be a continuation of the already damaging experience suffered by the ordinary people.
Make Isiolo the capital city. Besides being geographically central, the town has space for expansion and that would open up the north to commerce and settlement. It is the best chance to reduce the pressure on land along the Northern Transport Corridor, opening the region up to rapid investment and helping to fully utilise the new Lapsset corridor. The Elephant in conversation with Darius Okolla, an economist, writer and curator at The Elephant.
As the August 2022 elections approach, we suggest that not only will they be relatively peaceful but also that Kenya’s history of large-scale political violence may be a thing of the past.