The National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) has cautioned of rising of tribal gangs funded by politicians.
According to NCIC, heightened political tension, caused by nearing of the election period, as well as the BBI report, has seen re-grouping of tribal gangs, which could see violence come election time.
Commissioner warns of tribal communities
NCIC Commissioner, Abdulaziz Farah, speaking in Nakuru, said that they feared the antagonistic political rhetoric could cause communities to turn on each other. NCIC was in Nakuru for three days, meeting elders from various communities in Nakuru. They were looking for ways to avert possible tribal violence.
Farah said that they had mapped out areas prone to violent flare-ups come election time, and they were working to reducing chances of violence. They said some of the spots included Nakuru, Uasin Gishu, Mombasa and Nairobi. Farah noted that while these areas were currently calm, politicians could fuel tensions in them with their rhetoric.
Indeed, the areas Farah mentioned were among those that saw brutal violence erupt following the 2007 elections. Uasin Gishu and Nakuru had some of the highest numbers of IDPs, as many people fled their homes fearing attacks.
Tension over BBI report
Kenya is currently witnessing rising tensions over the BBI report, which has driven a wedge between several political allies. Both those for and against are pulling so far to their side. This has created a sense of the growing chasm between the politicians. The said politicians, then, might use their influence to sway their supports to violence to further their cause.
The development comes a few days after another report showed that politicians were gathering gangs. They would use these gangs to intimidate opposition come 2022.
The report by Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime said the gangs were already hijacking essential services in cities such as Nairobi and Mombasa. The report said that people living in slums in both cities were expecting a rise in political gang activity.