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This paper is derived from a study on alternative community-based security mechanisms in low-income urban areas of Kampala-Uganda. The objective was to understand how low income areas negotiated their security against the background of weak, unresponsive, abusive and inefficient state security systems. Yowana Maria Muzeei and Kifumbira were purposively sampled, and both in-depth and Focus Group Discussions were applied to obtain information which was enriched by secondary sources. We trace the rise of the non-state security nodes; analyse their legitimacy and modus operandi; highlight the relationship between the state and alternative security nodes and assesses their effectiveness. Major findings pointed to a complex and multi-layered security governance space against the perception of state dominance of security governance. The conventional and non-state security nodes showed complementary, but also conflictual relations; with intersections, modifications, adoptions and overlaps. The paper concludes that alternative security nodes were crucial in security governance, hence needed support.

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