Intelligence services and democratization in Africa
This study addresses issues surrounding democracy as an ideology and how it influences the operations of intelligence services in Africa. The study identifies Kenya as a case study since it has been recognized as one of the African states that had a dark past in terms of human rights and which has enacted a new Constitution through a popular vote. The objectives of the study are; to investigate the influence of democracy on intelligence services, to establish the role of intelligence services and how they are affected by political regimes in Africa and to investigate the democratization of intelligence services in Africa with focus on Kenya. Official government documents, news reports and other literature on the intelligence system in Kenya, as well as studies of intelligence oversight within democracies are the primary sources of data. The study uses purposive sampling to select the respondents from relevant government departments. The main interest is on government officials in the NIS, the judiciary, parliament, provincial administration, the police, civil society and government officers who sit in the National Security Council. Some of the major findings of the study are that the intelligence service in Kenya has undergone a dramatic change in terms of the way it operates compared to the practice during one-party rule. The study also established that different government institutions have the mandate to conduct oversight over the functions of the intelligence service in Kenya. Parliament for instance is able to scrutinize and approve yearly budget spending for the intelligence service, though the oversight procedures face challenges due to the provision in the Constitution for confidential expenditure for secret services. As an organization, NIS has been reformed in accordance with norms and practices developed in contemporary Western democracies, mostly through exchange programmes and direct involvement in training and capacity building. As Kenya continues the process of democratic consolidation, the issue of intelligence oversight remains vital to ensure political accountability and financial efficiency. Oversight of intelligence is also important to the political initiatives Kenya has undertaken to improve its political stability and national security.