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  • Like many in Kenya I’m seething with a lot of anger and pain over the evil and horror visited to innocent lives at dusitD2 complex in Nairobi by terrorists on Tuesday 15th January 2019. Innocent lives were taken away and so many injured. Terrorism is a global phenomenon and no country in this world no matter how powerful or weak is immune to the evil. Thanks to the Kenyan security forces swift action to contain the evil merchants on the Tuesday and probably after learning bad lessons in the past this time round though lives were lost the containment of the terror act was a bit faster and better coordinated. With ongoing investigations a lot of revelations will come out. With the complexity of the problem and the nature of permeating the society it is already showing that the evil or the bad culture is attracting variety of communities and ages especially the young people. It is not easy to pinpoint it as a single or few community problem. However it is also facilitated by weak states neighbouring Kenya. The other key phenomenon to study on this is the interweaving of radicalism, religion, poverty, unemployment, weak states and societies in growing of terrorism. Selective as it is in terms of interpretation of some of the issues to suit their mission it shows the structures of the society has to be carefully managed.
    There is no excuse for people to engage in terror acts. Any excuse is as evil as it comes. The key challenge is the growing phenomenon of attraction to terrorism for societies that would hitherto be allergic to that behavior. Moreover, terrorism has also taken a global spread and technology has also aided in training and spread of evil doctrines or radicalization of societies or people who would otherwise have not. I’m sure when investigations and intelligence is fully gathered there will be more shocking revelations than we have already gotten. Already some of it as revealed in the media reveal some elements of money laundering and misuse of young people lured into negative indoctrination which is not only self destructive but also very harmful to the entire society.
    The terror attack in itself had its potential to damage Kenya in many ways that include destruction of human life, property and creates risks that could deter business opportunities that include very sensitive sectors like tourism. Fortunately the response by Kenyan security forces this time round was swift and effective. Unfortunately it happened that terror was done on Kenyan soil and part of the nexus that aided this was Kenyans with their diversity. Still several financial loopholes were exploited to aid in the act of evil. Moreover it is scary that desperate youths are being used in confused doctrine meant to destroy people and society to achieve ulterior motives. So what as a country we have to do is obviously deal with terrorism and those who engage or aid it ruthlessly but also develop multifaceted mechanisms to combat the menace as well as prevent it from happening again. Terrorism has both local and global inputs and effects. It has social, political, economic and technological contributions into it
    Researched deeply you will find that what has hit Kenya severally is not simply having a shaky neighborhood with Somalia being a troubled nation for many years and harbouring terror group Al Shabaab. It is also that global skirmishes and political econo social problems which find Somalia a safe haven and launching pad for criminal activities in Kenya. It is not just because Kenya forces are stabilising Somalia or are seen as an occupying force in the territory there. It is bigger. It has local, regional and global dimensions. It also goes beyond religion. It is a cancer that has grown in the global society that terrorism is being fomented as a result of failures in social, economic and political system and dysfunctional societies. Similarly, regional and local conditions of political, economic and social nature are creating good avenues for the menace to thrive. Corruption for instance is endemic in many third world countries, Africa and to be specific it is a big problem in Kenya. Corruption has a huge destabilizing effects for countries like Kenya as it denies many the right economic opportunities and aid criminal networks. Corruption has denied Kenya effective pursuits of good policies and programmes such that economic growth over time has been very limited compared to potential vis-à-vis the population growth and global challenges. In effect unemployment crisis persist in Kenya in a dangerous way. If you combine corruption and unemployment you have a very lethal concoction that breeds fertile grounds for criminals and all manner of destructive activities.
    Thus as we address the menace through cracking hard on the evil networks and development of requisite laws , mechanisms and structures to ruthlessly deal with it, ,apparently we have to weed the grounds that make it easy for such evils to thrive or to occur. Indeed corruption and unemployment are among key risks Kenya and many countries around the globe have to deal with ruthlessly as well. Corruption is an evil fertilizer and unemployment is a provider of potent tools and conduit for evil merchants. Kenya has a date with destiny and some of the problems we experience are deeply political, social and economic. We cannot afford to ignore them at any second. Never. It simply creates a dangerous future. Time is now.
    Harrison Mwirigi Ikunda
    The Writer is a Political, Economic and Social Analyst and Commentator, the Leader of a Leading Renewable Energy Organisation in Africa, Researcher, Consultant, and Chairman Consumer Downtown Association and also represents Several Other Organisations.

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