Out Of Twenty Million Luhyias In Eastern Africa, Less Than Ten Thousand Serve In The AMISOM In Somalia

In contradiction to the persistent falsehood that Luhyias are only six million in Kenya, the recent research shows that there are nine million Luhyias in Kenya, six million Luhyias in Mbale district of Uganda, three million Luhyias in Samia district of Uganda and three million in Busoga district around Jinja in Uganda.

This means that there are twenty one million Luhyias in east Africa. The research farther revealed that, out of this twenty one million, only six million are in the old age category, fifty million are young people in the labour force category. Out of the fifteen million less than ten thousand serve in the regular armed forces due to tribal discrimination during the recruitment, mostly fuelled by ethnic politics of the day.

Most of these socially excluded youths of the Luhyia community work as boda boda riders, watchmen, and unskilled masons, and for the case of ladies they work as domestic workers or sex workers. The social force behind all these is nothing else but tribal politics. Like in Uganda, president museveni has only been recruiting his tribesmen of the Nyangoles into the regular armed force. But when it comes to other communities like the Ateso, the lango, the Acholi, the bagishu, the Samia and Abasoga, he uses them irregularly as guerrillas or village home-guards.

In Kenya the situation is worse; the government jobs are now only given to kalenjin and kikuyu communities without respect to the social contract in the Kenya constitution, qualification and competence. For every one Luhyia or Luo man to be recruited in the armed force in Kenya there have to be twenty kikuyu and twenty Kalenjin. This has been the strategy of the government since 1963. And for the Luo man or a Luhyia man to be hired there is a very rigorous and arduous interview, red tape, examination and all type of misfortune. What I mean is that the Ateso, the turkana, the Kisii, the Luhyia, the Luo and the Mijikenda youths have been socially excluded by the Kenya government since independence. They are never given opportunity to serve their country.

For the case of Amisom in Somalia, there is a good pay and allowances paid by the United Nations to those KDF soldiers that go to Somalia, so the Politicians from the side of current government have influenced recruitment to thin out the above communities on a large scale, so that relatives of the strong politicians are the only ones getting chances to serve in this capacity, to an extent that they miss to selected people with physical and emotional qualities for the military work. It is technically sham and cosmetic.

The excluded communities mentioned above form 90% of the night guards and watchmen in Nairobi and Kampala and other east African cities, they form 60% of boda boda riders, they also form 80 % of sex wokers, they do this as a way of fighting personal poverty. Some of them already have been arrested on charges of being part of the terrorist net works. Whose fault is it? Kindly, I call upon our political leaders to stop this politics of tribal exclusion for the sake of security and democracy.

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Articles by Alexander Opicho