Saturday, April 20, 2019

What NSIS Knew About The About Election Violence – The Nation 20th April 2008

Key words: Kenya Election Violence, Role Of Kenya’s National Security Intelligence Service, Mugumo Munene, Security Journalism in Kenya, The Nation Media Group Nairobi, Kenya

What NSIS Knew About The About Election Violence by Mugumo Munene – The Nation 20 April 2008 is a good and brave article on the role of Kenya’s intelligence gathering organisation National Security Intelligence Service (NSIS) during the 27 December 2007 General Elections and the violence that followed.

The NSIS – was created by the National Security Intelligence Service Act 1998 – Parliament of Kenya. The NSIS came into being in January 1999. The NSIS (which is independent from Kenya’s Police Force) is an independent civilian Government agency dedicated to protecting the national security interests of Kenya and safeguarding its citizens’ (source: The organisation is regarded as one of the best in Africa by certain security agencies. In his article Mugumo Munene confirms the well known fear that the Kenya’s security services knew about the possibility of election related political violence and warned the appropriate people and organisations of the looming danger at “tactical, operational and strategic levels”, even to date – for example, the recent Munigiki attacks in major towns in Kenya in April 2007. Quoting a retired officer, the article highlights – that due to past ‘human right misdemeanours’ by the dreaded Special Branch and the Directorate Of Security (DSI) which had powers to arrest, interrogate or prosecute suspects and would add ‘neutralise’, these powers were removed by the National Security Intelligence Act (1998) enacted by Kenya’s Parliament (ironically to take Kenya away from the image of the torture chambers used by the Special Branch). The retired officer draws attention to recommendations put forward by the NSIS with aim of improving security in the country. These recommendations were rejected by parliament. For example – criminalising Hate Speech (used effectively by politicians prior and post Kenya Elections) and Hate Speech in the media, especially via the ethnic language FM radio network in Kenya. What is extremely worrying in the article is the comment “The official was not optimistic that Kenya will be secure, unless there is further development of the criminal intelligence wing of the police and a lot more investment in law and order”. End

Useful Link:

Historical Role of NSIS Kenya including – The Special Branch and the Directorate Of Security Intelligence.

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