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Daily Nation, October 4 2011 - Check criminal gangs now infesting Kenya
A report launched in Nairobi on Tuesday paints a worrying picture of the extent to which international criminal networks have infiltrated all organs of government, including the Executive, Judiciary and the Legislature, as well as the police and the provincial administration.
The International peace Institute report entitled ‘‘Termites at Work: Transnational Organised Crime and State Erosion in Kenya’’, was launched by Prime Minister Odinga, who admitted that criminal syndicates had bought their way into the State.
The effect was that dangerous criminals involved in drug trafficking and other serious crimes had secured for themselves immunity from arrest and prosecution, and were also influencing State policy.
This candid admission by the Prime Minister is welcome, as is the report that the government co-operated fully with the investigators. (READ: Raila: Organised crime funds election campaigns)
It is not enough, however, to co-operate in investigations or to admit freely that the State has been infiltrated by criminal elements.
These admissions must be followed by action to ensure Kenya does not come to resemble countries in Eastern Europe, South America and Asia where criminal gangs are in charge of government.
Kenyan authorities have historically been reluctant to act against drugs traffickers and other criminals because officialdom is often beholden to them. We must now change attitude.
We live in a vulnerable region where it should not be difficult to make the very clear link between transnational criminals – drug traffickers, poachers, gun-runners, money launderers, human traffickers and smugglers of counterfeit goods – and the clear and present danger of attacks by terrorists.
It would be criminal dereliction of duty for the authorities to continue turning a blind eye to dangerous criminals that have been given freedom to operate in Kenya.