By Kenneth Kaunda Joe
Political Analyst and KDRTV Europe Correspondent
My Political Science teacher once told me that in politics enemies and friends are temporary formations but interests are permanent. The latest occurrences in Kenya’s political scene should worry the common man more than it should worry those who are on the spot currently.
The Jubilee government has adopted the Orwellian system of governance without fully envisioning the repercussions and the consequences to our great country. The victims of these lawless and despotic acts are the citizens of the country however much the government may not realize it.
In a state where laws are not adhered to, arbitrary arrests become the order of the day, court orders are openly dismissed and disobeyed, natural citizens are exiled when it befits the government, critiques are maimed and killed, it is not those with power and resources who should be worried, it is not the real antagonists known to the regime who should be worried, it is the citizens who should be worried. It is those young people who dwell in slums and have no recourse when the justice system is overrun who should be worried; it is the common citizen who should be worried.
I do not need to subscribe to any particular school of thought within the Kenya’s political system to know that what is happening is wrong. I do not need to be a sycophant to speak out on the ills visited on our freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, freedom of association, freedom of the media and journalism and many more that we have experienced in the last few months. Kenyans should be a worried lot because we are nurturing and molding a perfect environment for the next crop of leaders.
We are showing the young generation that when in power the court system doesn’t matter and consequently, neither does the constitution which is the very foundation of our nation. We are showing that interests should be protected at whatever cost and it matters not if that price is paid by suspending the very core of our existence, “the Laws”. It is abhorrable, idiotic, ill witted and obtuse to imagine that as a supporter of the current regime one is safe. This is a critical time in the history of our country to stand up and be counted, this is the time to show the love for our country and not our tribes, this is the time to show brilliance and not ethnic bigotry, this is the time show solidarity against the oppressor and not division, this is the time to join hands so as to ensure that the future is safe for all and sundry because when tables turn, we will have no refuge and the world will frown down upon our foolishness.
The fact that people can arrested at whim without following the right procedure is a huge cause for worry. In the last few months we have witnessed a number of unprocedural and illegal arrests of opposition figures and I do not want to ‘run with the pack’ or follow the punches by endorsing the acts by the opposition but I believe that if one or more of the acts were in contravention of the existing laws, then we don’t make it right by harassing and detaining people unlawfully. There is need to ensure that the law is followed when dealing with such issues.
We have witnessed the uncouth manner in which Dr. David Ndii was arrested; we then witnessed the hasty arrest of Hon Kajwang, the harassment and unsuccessful arrest of Mr. Wanjigi and recently the arrest of Dr. Miguna Miguna. What picture can we draw on what security or judicial recourse is available for a common Kenyan? Kenyans have the moral and political obligation to protect the constitution at all costs and this is done for the benefit of the common man and not for the few current victims.
We have witnessed the blatant act by the authorities to switch of major TV stations and not give any concrete explanations as to why that is done. The constitution is clear on the need to ensure that freedom of media is guaranteed because this should act as the main source of information which is also a right under international law and subsequently national laws. When the basic freedoms and rights are abused by the same government meant to protect them, there is a problem and the consequences are dire and prolonged to unforeseen future. By gagging the media, the citizens are gagged and when citizens are gagged, their rights are suspended and when that happens, the constitution that we swore to defend is suspended and we are left in a state of anarchy where those with instruments of power dictate your next move and literally your succeeding breath. We need to look beyond the whirlwind and spot the hurricane.