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'The Men Watching Our Borders': The Evolution, Identity, and Tenacity of Chinkororo in Gusii, Kenya

Title data

Bosibori, Catheline N.:
'The Men Watching Our Borders': The Evolution, Identity, and Tenacity of Chinkororo in Gusii, Kenya.
In: Les Cahiers d'Afrique de L'Est/ The East African Review. Vol. 56 (2021) .
ISSN 2790-1076
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4000/eastafrica.1464

Official URL: Volltext

Abstract in another language

Non-state armed groups have been the subject of research in Kenya for a long time. Many of them emerge in response to social, political, and economic inequalities and the dissatisfactions they engender. Kenyan society is marked by unemployment, a huge gap between the rich and the poor, and marginalization due to ethnic-based politics. As a result, almost every region in Kenya has registered at least one instance of activity by a non-state armed group. These groups have posed a continuous threat to the social and political spheres of Kenya and were banned under the Kenyan Prevention of Organized Crime Act of 2010. However, many of them are still active. The author focuses here on the Chinkororo movement in Kisii county. There exist competing perspectives on the role of Chinkororo: it is viewed as a group of traditional warriors from Abagusii, a criminal gang, a vigilante for economic and political hire by the highest bidder, or even a security provider filling the government’s security gaps. The author outlines the history and activities of Chinkororo and the reasons for its continuing vibrancy despite a government ban through the enactment of the Prevention of Organized crime Act. The paper argues that Chinkororo is, in fact, a vigilante that transitioned from being a simple neighbourhood formation to a political and economic instrument for violent post-election score-settling. Its activities come more into the limelight during electioneering periods. Accordingly, it is hard to extinguish Chinkororo’s activities because of constant election-related violence in Kenya.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Chinkororo; militia; post-election violence; Abagusii; multipartyism
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Cultural Studies > Professor History of Africa
Faculties > Faculty of Cultural Studies > Professor History of Africa > Professor History of Africa - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Joël Glasman
Faculties
Faculties > Faculty of Cultural Studies
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 300 Social sciences > 360 Social problems, social services
900 History and geography > 960 History of Africa
Date Deposited: 31 Jan 2023 07:10
Last Modified: 18 Apr 2023 07:04
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/73555