Election related violent conflicts in Molo District of the Rift Valley Province, Kenya: 1992-2007
Munyasya, Elizabeth Mwongeli Kusa
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The interest of this study was to examine election related violent conflict in Molo District. Contemporary trend show that violence during or after election is a common occurrence in the world following the introduction of multi-party politics. In most cases, the violence arises from conflicting interest of election disputants and when it occurs it takes several forms depending on the number of actors, the root causes, and the embedded interconnectivity with other forms of conflicts. Accordingly, election violence that occur in Africa and particularly in Kenya are not only as a result of rigging, but also entails a host of deep rooted issues which include corruption, negative ethnicity, unbalance resource allocation, human rights abuses and cultural hegemony. Molo District in Rift Valley Province has always experienced election violence since the reintroduction of multipartism in 1991. It is on this basis that the study sought to establish the underlying issues behind these election violence incidences. The study aimed at meeting the following objectives: to establish the dimensions of election related violent conflict in Molo District; to find out the root causes of election related violent conflict in Molo District; to identify the effects of election related violent conflict in Molo District; and to establish how election related violent conflict in Molo District have been managed. This study was guided by Azar’s theory of conflict. The study employed descriptive design and the study population was residents of Molo District. The study employed various sampling methods in selecting respondents which included: simple random sampling and purposive sampling techniques. Diverse data collection methods were used including survey method, key informant interview, focus group discussions and secondary data. Accordingly, data that was collected was analyzed both qualitatively and quantitatively. The study established that election related violent conflicts in Molo are as a result of unresolved grievances which include historical injustices and land issues. The researcher recommended that in order to bring a permanent solution to the election conflicts, the government should address all grievances.