In Summary
  • Currently, there are over 3,500 registered companies employing up to 400,000 guards; that figure is four times as high as the regular Kenya police.
  • Well-managed cash transfer programmes provide a much better stimulus to local economies.
  • The provision of a monthly stipend to senior citizens and the disabled is a positive move but needs to expand and the amount to be increased.
  • In fact microfinance often increases personal debt burdens even in countries like Bangladesh where they are lauded.

Youth unemployment in Kenya stands at 40 per cent, yet two sectors of notable expansion are religion and security.

Every street corner thunders out messages of repentance, redemption and a prosperity gospel. Preachers learn the trade in one church, then purchase a suit, an enormous loudspeaker, a few second-hand mabati sheets and you have a church.

I guess this would be called a Small enterprise in the business world.

Security companies have greatly expanded too. Currently, there are over 3,500 registered companies employing up to 400,000 guards; that figure is four times as high as the regular Kenya police. The continuous growth in local churches and private security firms is perhaps the greatest indicator of inequality in our society.

MIRACLES

Churches that promise miracles and wealth are found in the poorest areas where their message has the greatest appeal.

Security companies operate in the wealthiest ends of town to protect businesses and property. Put another way, security companies protect the wealth of those who have acquired it, while religion comforts those who survive on a hand-to-mouth existence.

This is true not only of Kenya but even in the developed world. There are 5.2 million security guards in the USA, while in a more equal society like Sweden the number is four times less per 1 million of the population.

Kenya is an unequal society, frequently ranked third behind Brazil and South Africa in terms of disparity of wealth.

If in doubt, just remember that MCAs earn 10 to 15 times more than the teacher to whom you have entrusted your child’s education.

EXECUTIVES

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