The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: Nation Sliding to Become Gang Controlled State

Kenya is slowly sliding into becoming a captured and criminalised state, a report by the International Peace Institute which is being launched today warns. The report, which focuses in an area ignored by civil society groups says the country was at great risk of having two parallel administrations -one run by the state and the other by criminal networks-if nothing is done.

It warns that the "outward veneer of respectability" masked the dangers that the country was facing unless action was taken urgently. The report says Kenyan police no longer had the capacity to effectively investigate and prosecute powerful individuals suspected of being part of the organised crime networks.

It cites as examples the recent investigations involving MPs alleged to be involved in the drug trafficking networks as well as the seizure of 102kg of heroin at Mombasa. Due to the failure to prosecute or even conclude these investigations, the organised crime networks had become even more powerful and brazen.

The networks have penetrated deeper into government, political and business circles even as the government and its criminal justice system become "even more impotent to act". The report credits Kenya's media, civil society groups and development partners for resisting the penetration of criminal networks into government and business structures as has happened in some countries in West Africa.

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