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Kenya is a fast growing that third world country found in East Africa and has the strongest economy as compared to the neighbouring countries. The current government is tirelessly working on reaching the modern vision 2030 that was set by the former president, retired honourable Mwai Kibaki during his regime.


What is Crime?

Crime can be defined as activities that involve breaking the law.


What are the causes of crime in Kenya?

With increasing urbanization and industrialization. Many people end up being unable to live up to societal standards set, hence involving themselves in crime. This can be supported by anomie and strain theory. The crime in our Kenyan context includes drug abuse, prostitution, theft, murder, fraud, raping, corruption and many more.

The main cause of crime in our society is mainly due to unemployment which is the root of all the other crimes. Most Kenyans, especially the youths are unemployed and since they must look for survival means they end up engaging in crime. With unemployment, females engage in prostitution for survival means. In our country, prostitution is illegal and a crime. The red light district is an emerging trend in our towns and Koinange street in Nairobi CBD will forever remain to be popular for this unscrupulous deeds.

Drug abuse, especially in our slums and the coastal parts of our country for youth, have given up their lives. It can be explained better by understanding the strain theory whereby we have ‘retreats’. This is one of the foolish strategy used by unemployed youth to reduce stress and frustrations. Theft is rampant in our society especially in the urban areas which have proved to be breeding grounds for criminals. This ironic courtesy most Kenyans cannot penetrate the slums for fear of theft and molestation despite us having freedom of movement, most theft cases are petty ones due to advanced security measures and low technology among the thieves.

There are also rare cases of rape and murder most murder cases are mostly family feuds especially of a family property from a statistics point of view. It happens mostly in rural areas. Rape is also a rare case though it also happens and mostly from desperate males who are most likely under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Corruption is the trending organised crime among those who are employed, mostly the government officials. For example, the famous NYS scandal. It is due to lack of strict rules for punishing corrupt leaders, the Kenyan culture of egoistic capitalism not to forget those whose role models are successful corrupt leaders. Edwin Sutherland’s differential association theory can support this.

This crime is difficult to deal with as the top government official also engaged in and what you will see in court is just proxies of charade or miscarriage of justice.

Not forgetting our rehabilitation centers are not effective they have failed to rehabilitate the criminals in our society and ironically they go to prisons to learn new tactics they have been rumours that those who engage in the mobile confidence trick with motives of acquiring money is in a prison setting and are prisoners who have learned the philosophy of mobile trick.


Societal Costs

The effects of crime are diverse that is slow economic growth rate due to corruption. The multi-billion losses that occur in our ministries could have helped us make a step forward in our development to achieve our vision 2030. It has also led to huge debts that we owe the Republic of China. There is also the death of innocent people from murder, rape, corruption scandals, prostitution, drug abuse just to mention a few. With rape, most females are raped and killed.

Corruption cases sometimes are accompanied by the dramatic death of a suspected official who is intentionally killed to conceal secrets. Drug dealers may kill each other due to their wrong judgment which may also happen in prostitution especially when one is hired to kill the client maybe due to monetary or political reasons. There is also a low level of productivity among the youths especially due to drug abuse. May also happen out of the notion that one can’t succeed due to the corrupt officials in our different sectors.

There is the fear among the Kenyans who may want to visit a slum without the company of a person familiar to that place. Hence we are restricted in our home country. This is the case in other urban areas where one gets anxious thoughts walking past 10:00 p.m due to the likelihood inhuman act that he/she may face from thieves. Prostitution has also led to family breakup and marriage conflicts in many families. The Kenyan culture does not condone forgiveness of sexually immoral acts and instead believes in retribution.

There is a need to renovate our rehab centers so that those who are taken there end up being reformed people after the period. Legislation to recommend our laws so that those involved in corruption end in a proper retributive process for it to discourage others. The government should encourage foreign investors and support local investors so that more employment opportunities are created. Our education system should also focus more on technical courses than courses that are white-collar based. This will impart skills in our youth necessary to be self-employed. This will help youths to be somehow thoughtful of their lives and will try best for ways to survive. Our police service should be reformed so that they gain more knowledge and focus on making our society better by having a common agenda of arresting offenders with aim of making our society a better place.


By Bena Joni

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