**Hot** (filed by our Kisumu Correspondent)
Kisumu Under Siege
Cover note from Blog-Admin
The following is an unfolding story filed by our Kisumu Correspondent, who managed to infilter some of the Kisumu based gangs to uncover some rather disturbing truths behind gang activity. This is the first of a series of posts that explain in detail the composition and financing of gangs and their operations. More information will be published as the correspondent updates the forum
After visiting Kisumu earlier today and holding talks with government security team, no less a person than the Prime Minister of the republic confirmed our worst fears. Criminal gangs are taking over Kisumu County, and worse, a section of the local police are conspiring with these gangs.
In this well researched exposé, this reporter was able to infiltrate the gangs with assistance from insiders, and to author this article which unravels the motives and the individuals behind the spate of killings and unrest in Kisumu City in the recent months. It is becoming clearer that it is part of a wider ploy to cause unrest, while spreading fear and despondency with the intention of disrupting the voter registration exercise in Kisumu County (and Coast Province) – all of which are ODM strongholds, and the intention is to ultimately cripple and critically impact the largest and singularly otherwise unshakable support base of the ODM. These two regions have since independence been marginalised and excluded from any gains, support or financing by the Kenyatta, Moi and Kibaki regimes and/or have had skewed policies that impoverish the masses, grab prime land and resources while rewarding pro-establishment sycophants e.g H. Oyugi, R. Tuju, etc
Part 1: Background
For a long time Kisumu (especially main Buspark and Kondele suburb) was a hotbed of fierce political resistance of oppressive regimes, often resulting in politically instigated violence as pro-establishment agents cracked down on the populace that rejected status quo every election year. Previous political protagonists (read Kanu stalwarts versus the then Opposition) were using these gangs as supporting casts in perpetuating violence whenever there was a political mission to be accomplished or a supremacy contest to be showcased be it a political rally or when a KANU bigwig was visiting. This eventually gave birth to the proliferation of criminal militia gangs like “Baghdad”, “Taliban”, etc.
These militia gangs came in handy in perpetuating KANUs so called “penetration” in Luo-Nyanza, then a bedrock of opposition politics led by the late Jaramogi Oginga Odinga. Sometime in the 1990s, the late Cllr. Lawrence Akinyi Oile assumed the political leadership of these gangs as he was a KANU stooge and used finances gained from his dalliance with KANU to gain influence and eventually become the undisputed leader of “Baghdad” thereby ending up as the commander of the most prominent and the most violent gang in town whose nerve centre was the Kondele area of Kisumu town.
When the political landscape rapidly changed and the world economy also demanded change, the tact of the gangs had no option other than to mutate. This was accelerated by the fact that several leaders and key members of these gangs retired, while others diedor just opted out due to old age. Majority of the members though were incarcerated for long periods in Kisumu’s Kodiaga Prison for a myriad of criminal acts. Inevitably, this necessitated the emergence of new leaders.
With the death of the criminal gangs; “Baghdad” and the metaphorsis of its then feared and notorious leader Audi Ogada, the group changed its mission and renamed itself to “Baghdad for Peace”. Rebel members of Badhdad who were maturing in crime abandoned the mission and formed their own small gangs culminating into the birth of two main gangs: “Wash-Wash” (aka “China” and “America” (a.k.a “U.S”).
Without fear of contradiction, it must be asserted here that The National Alliance Party (T.N.A.) founded by Uhuru Kenyatta is at the heart of sponsoring the recent violence in Kisumu and is linked to the leadership of the gang culture gaining root in Kisumu each passing day. It makes no sense for an individual facing an ICC court for crimes against humanity to involve himself with even more violence. But there you have it!