What is DEEP STATE in the Kenyan Context?

What is Deep State?

A Study commissioned by Report by Kenya Human Rights Commission (KHRC) in 2018 titled “Exposing the Governance Conundrum in Kenya: Deep State, Mega Corruption and Stalled Electoral Reforms”, attempted various definitions of DEEP STATE.

KHRC concludes that ‘DEEP STATE is a state within the state’ and entails “murky co-operation between state security, intelligence, corrupt officials and organized crime who run the Government system behind the scenes.’

KHRC study adds that DEEP STATE is ‘an association of key elements of government and parts of top-level finance and industry that is effectively able to govern…with limited or no reference to the consent of the governed as normally expressed through elections.’

As regards the modus operendi of DEEP STATE, the KHRC study concludes that it is ‘a SYSTEM which habitually resorts to decision-making and enforcement procedures outside those publicly sanctioned by law and society’

As to who comprises DEEP STATE, KHRC notes that it is ‘[the] authoritarian, criminal and corrupt segments of the state that function in a democratic regime by exploiting and reproducing its deficiencies.’

Finally, with reference to official Government, DEEP STATE is “the unofficial system of government that arises separately from, but is closely connected to, the official system, where several key democratic institutions are captured and held [hostage] by private interests in order to advance its private agenda over the public interest.”

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