March 29, 2022 | All Africa

Growing number of political gangs in Kenya spark election concerns

ISD’s Dominic Pkalya spoke to All Africa about the growing threat of political gangs and militias in Kenya ahead of national elections on 9 August 2022. Political gangs have been an ongoing problem in Kenya despite previous governments’ efforts to ban such groups.

Dominic told All Africa that according to research by the National Crime Research Center the number of gangs outlawed in Kenya increased from 33 in 2010, to 326 in 2017. “By now probably we have more gangs than that,” Dominic inferred.

He also added that there could be more than 400 gangs at present in Kenya given that gangs can change their identities to avoid law enforcement.

Politicians in Nairobi and Mombasa have also used gangs to create disturbances and violence during elections.

Dominic Pkalya is a Senior Programme Manager at ISD, working across ISD’s counter-extremism initiatives in Kenya and the Eastern Africa region.