THE INFLUENCE OF INTER-CLAN CONFLICTS ON SOCIO-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN MUMIAS EAST SUB-COUNTY OF KAKAMEGA COUNTY, KENYA
Busalire, Samson Owori
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Inter-clan conflicts are widely spread in the world with Africa leading in such cases. Conflict management and peace building in Kenya continues to face challenges in the current national and regional environments. Clans in Mumias East Sub-County have been in conflict from time immemorial. Strategic coordination amongst key actors has been seemingly lacking in conflict management and peace building. The general objective of the study was to examine the influence of inter-clan conflicts on socio-economic development in Mumias East Sub-County, Kenya. The specific Objectives were to: examine the nature and extent of inter-clan conflicts in Mumias East Sub-County, Kenya; assess the effects of inter-clan conflicts on socio-economic development in Mumias East Sub-County, Kenya and; evaluate the strategies put in place to reduce inter-clan conflicts in Mumias East Sub-County, Kenya. This study adopted a conceptual framework: The theories employed were; Intergroup Contact theory and linear stages of growth theory. The study employed descriptive, evaluation, historical and cross sectional research designs. The study population comprised of Assistant-Chiefs, Clan Chairpersons, MCAs, Ward Administrators, CBOs representatives, Religious Leaders, deputy County commissioners, Assistant County Commissioners, Sub-County Administrator, Police, Probation Officer, Village Elders, Chiefs and Households Heads totaling to 475 respondents. This study adopted stratified random sampling for sampling Sub-locations, proportionate random sampling, and simple random sampling to sample Households heads and purposive sampling for Assistant Chiefs, Chiefs, Clan Chairpersons, MCAs, ward Administrators, CBOs representatives and Religious leaders. The study population was derived from (9) selected Sub-locations in Mumias East Sub-County. Primary data collection was done using questionnaires, interviews schedules, observations checklists, and focus group discussion (FGD) guides. Secondary sources included relevant documents and reports. Qualitative data was analyzed using thematic narratives. Quantitative data was analyzed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) and Microsoft excel to obtain measures of central tendency, frequencies, Ranking and Charts were used to present data. Results indicate that majority of the respondents 47% agreed that conflicts occur very often in Mumias East Sub-County. The study sought to establish the extent of interclan conflicts in relation to gender, age, occupation, marital status level of education, per location and in shopping centres. The types of conflicts addressed are ; leadership wrangles, land ownership, land boundaries, political competion and resource distribution. The study established that (48.7%) strongly agree that inter-clan conflicts disrupt learning in Mumias East Sub-County. For the effects on property, (49.9%) strongly agreed that residents of Mumias East lost property during conflicts. Majority of the respondents (78%) agree that a number of development projects in the study area stalled due to interclan conflicts. Additionally, the study shows that majority of the respondents (54.8%) strongly agree that inter-clan conflicts impacts on livelihoods. The study findings reveal that mediation (56%) was the highest ranked as a strategy put in place to reduce Inter-clan conflicts in Mumias East Sub-County followed by negotiation, litigation and arbitration. Public participation (48.2%) was ranked as the best among other strategies employed to reduce inter-clan conflicts followed by formation of social groups, improvement of social amenities and intermarriages. There is a significant influence by; gender, age, occupation, marital status and level of education on inter-clan conflicts in the study area. The study concludes that inter-clan conflicts emanating from land disputes, resource distribution, political competition and struggle for leadership have got adverse negative influence on socio-economic development of Mumias East Sub-County with a few positive impacts. The study recommends that the National and County governments and other stakeholders should work more closely with the community to understand the factors that lead to recurrence of conflicts to enhance sustainable peace in the area of study. Also public participation should be encouraged to bring all people on board in development projects in the area of study to avoid stagnation of development due to conflicts of interest.