RSS

Danish Institute for International Studies Report links NA Majority leader Aden Duale, Former Garissa Governor Nathif Jama Adam and Former Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero to Sugar smuggling to Kenya from Somalia

17 Jul
NATHIF DUALE KIDERO

Former Garissa Governor Nathif Jama, National Assembly Majority Leader Aden Duale and Former Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero – the sugar SMUGGLING BARONS

Sugar smuggling to Kenya from Somalia is a dangerous and highly political business. A New report by Danish Institute for international studies (DIIS) has disclosed.  In the report they have linked the sugar smuggling to politicians among them former Garissa governor Nathif Jama,  Majority leader in National Assembly Aden Duale and former Nairobi governor Evans Kidero.

The trade across the Somali–Kenya border is particularly controversial because the border has been officially closed for a decade, making the trade illegal

PUBLIC SECRETS: BORDERS, CAMPS, AND GOVERNMENT CORRUPTION

According to informants the involvement of local government in the sugar business has increased in the period following the 2013 elections.
Former Nairobi governor Evans Kidero, the Garissa governor Nathif Jama Adam, and the Garissa- born majority speaker of parliament Aden Duale are rumoured to be implicated in the sugar trade.
These rumours reach all the way to Nairobi where they can be voiced more freely than in the north. The power of the people implicated by the rumours is more distant in Nairobi, whereas in the northern parts of Kenya the secrecy associated with the rumours points to the importance and power of those involved.

The Dadaab refugee camp close to Garissa in northern Kenya is one of the major hubs for the sugar trade. The more than 20 years-old refugee camp is among the worlds’ largest and it offers a convenient market with hundred of thousands of clients. Dadaab refugee camp thus has become a place of transit for a large variety of people and transported goods. The camp is, in some respects, considered its own isolated entity and others it is intimately connected to the regional life and trade, which also affects and implicates the governance of the county.

Read FULL Danish Institute for International Studies Report here >>> SWEET SECRETS: SUGAR SMUGGLING AND STATE FORMATION IN THE KENYA – SOMALIA BORDERLANDS

Camp dwellers are always unwilling to talk about the sugar trade. In December 2014 a police officer was killed in what was publicly portrayed as another Al-Shabaab terror attack, given that it happened shortly after the Al-Shabaab-led massacres in Mandera in November 2014. However, the ‘truth’ that circulated in the camp placed the officer at the heart of the sugar trade and that he had allegedly acted against the advice of his sugar patron, an influential local politician.

Despite camp dwellers’ reluctance to be interviewed about the sugar trade, rumours travel in the camp and everybody knows about the sugar networks, but most refugees demonstrate the social skill of ‘ knowing what not to know’ While the violence and corruption involved in the trade make people afraid of talking, they rely on the trade to get sugar, as it is not part of the UN food rations distributed in the camp. Refugees in the camp also take on the odd job as loaders. Because the camp is never short of labour, the earnings from loading the sugar on and off the trucks do not reflect the fluctuating prices of the sugar. Dadaab refugee camp is an ‘economic engine’ for the northern parts of Garissa county. Furthermore, the political and business communities in Garissa county are dominated by people with close ties to the Jubaland administration in southern Somalia.

Economic adviser to the Governor of Garissa admitted the challenges Kenya faces in terms of border control and how that has influenced the work of the new governor and his team. He felt no need to hide that the formally closed border in reality didn’t appear that closed. The advisor argued that mobility patterns increase the demand for supplies from alternative channels (like the cross-border trade), particularly when supplies from Kenya and international aid agencies are insufficient and in periods when local farmers can’t deliver enough for the camp. His point was not to endorse the illegal cross-border trade but, rather, to highlight that this problem goes beyond corruption in the border police or the KRA.

Read FULL Danish Institute for International Studies Report here >>> SWEET SECRETS: SUGAR SMUGGLING AND STATE FORMATION IN THE KENYA – SOMALIA BORDERLANDS

The county commissioners and administrators know about the existence of sugar smuggling. Smuggling appears to be a public secret and some of the commissioners link its connections to local politicians and business people. However, the commissioners are not interested in or willing to reveal the identity of particular politicians involved in the sugar trade. They only speak in generalised terms and only of those already implicated by public rumours. The power of these politicians is implied in the stories surrounding the police officer killed in Dadaab in December 2014 but also in the subtle ways in which politicians’ involvement in the illegal sugar trade is denied or simply not mentioned. Nevertheless, one former district commissioner who had served under the former provincial government structure did give a particularly vivid account of his service in the county.

It was his first assignment and he was displeased with the remote placement, but from colleagues he soon learned that the northern territories are considered a very attractive albeit risky destination. It was described to him as a place from where ‘if you survive, you can return wealthy’. A month into his placement he was approached by a local businessman who paid a courtesy visit to introduce himself to the newly appointed commissioner.

The businessman was straightforward and told the commissioner about the cross-border trade he was involved in. He told the commissioner that he expected him to do what his predecessors had done, to cooperate. If he was unwilling to cooperate, the businessman pointed out that the commissioner had three options; either to seek transfer of placement by himself, to have the businessman take care of his transfer or to never to return to his family. Such blunt intimidation testifies to the power and connectedness of the people involved in the smuggling. It also demonstrates the systematic coercion involved in making outside state officials comply with the operations.
The former commissioner claimed not to have taken any bribes… but he managed to serve until the end of his term.

Read FULL Danish Institute for International Studies Report here >>> SWEET SECRETS: SUGAR SMUGGLING AND STATE FORMATION IN THE KENYA – SOMALIA BORDERLANDS

Another former commissioner who served in Wajir recounted that everybody within the administration knew about the smuggling and that many actually tried to do something about it. He defended the KRA and the police at the border posts who are often accused of corruption and argued that there is a community aspect to the problem. While on the one hand the public servants are appointed by the state and hence serve the state, on the other hand, they also serve the local community where they are placed. They have to stay on good terms with the locals to build good working relations. In his account, corruption is only part of the explanation; local demands for goods and jobs related to the trade is another, and so too are the close relations, which often take the form of clan ties, across the border. Similar relationships between local communities and state officials as well as local communities’ relations to smuggling networks and traders have been described in the border areas of Congo–Uganda and between the Sudans.

Researchers argue that such community involvement must be understood as a mix of incentives comprising: loyalties to social networks, business strategies, survival economies, and alternative regulation, rather than as mere smuggling cooperation
In this light, the former commissioner’s account broadens the meaning of coercion and co-operation, as the pressure on government representatives is not limited to violence and threats to their lives. Instead relations between civil servants and communities manifest themselves in a variety of ways and they are equally fragile and unstable. If we add the influence of Al-Shabaab and the KDF to the mix, these counties are clearly not easy places in which to uphold and implement the central government’s laws and policies.

Read FULL Danish Institute for International Studies Report here >>> SWEET SECRETS: SUGAR SMUGGLING AND STATE FORMATION IN THE KENYA – SOMALIA BORDERLANDS

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on July 17, 2018 in General News

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: