For a long time. Somalia residents have lamented over the unfair and unconstitutional taxation imposed to them by the rag-tag militia group the Al Shabaab. Despite the religious intervention from the high offices in Somalia, Al Shabaab have been relentless in ensuring that Somali people suffer to the core! Other than forced taxation and forceful collection of zakat, the individual household is entitled to providing the militias in the bush with food on a daily basis. Those that fail to attend to the outlined responsibilities are punished and sometimes even banished from the community.
The Kenya Defense Forces under the umbrella body of Africa Mission In Somalia have been mandated to pacify parts of Somalia that have been infested with the rag-tag militias. KDF has been instrumental in setting free towns that were once enslaved to the Al Shabaab. Somalis now have a reason to smile as they enjoy the freedom they had lost for nearly three decades after the assassination of their then president Mohamed Siad Barre in early 90s. After clearing the active Al Shabaab fighters, KDF embarked on cleansing the Somali of the passive ones who were collecting illegal taxes from the people.
Over twenty roadblocks have so far been disrupted by the KDF troops in various regions in Somalia. Being one of the main revenue collection points, the removal of the roadblocks is a blow below the belt to the militants considering that most of their revenue taps have been closed down by AMISOM, including illegal charcoal business and ransom. The residents heaped praises to the troops christening them saviours. “We have suffered long in the hands of the Al Shabaab, the money they collect we have no idea what they do with it. The roads are shambolic, no schools, no basic needs, in short, there are no services yet they force us to give them money.” Said a resident who sought anonymity.
Experts argue that the best way to end Al Shabaab menace is by making the hungry. Loss of revenue to them means the fighters lack basic needs which will lead to self-cannibalism hence disintegration. The group has had several challenges including their top-flight commanders being killed of fighter defecting to join the government troops. Internal wrangles especially clan superiority has been at the epicenter of the Al Shabaab instability.