Archive for May, 2016

Nothing strengthens impunity so much as silence and fear

To sin by silence, when we should protest, Makes cowards out of men.
-Ella Wheeler Wilcox

 

IEBC Protest 2016

The price of free speech; blood and tears.

 

Kenyans, they say we are the most optimistic people in the world, maybe so, because even I thought we had learnt from PEV and never again wasn’t just another cliche. I was very optimistic about 2017, not anymore. Now I sit here wondering whether it will be best to be near the Uganda border immediately after voting.

Going by what I saw yesterday, our uniformed forces clobbering civilians senseless and even shooting protesters in the back (as happened in Kisumu and in slums in 2007/8) is clearly something that can happen again and that if nothing changes we should brace for.

I have heard all the arguments to justify both the protests and the conduct of the police, and I have come to one conclusion: on which side the law and right falls depends on which tribe the person commenting belongs to most of the time.

Thugs who infiltrated a lawful protest are being described as CORD supporters by Jubilee supporters, outlaw rogue police who waded into crowds with “jembe” stumps and bludgeoned everyone in sight are being defended as acting with reasonable restraint by government supporters; in the meantime pockets of CORD supporters saw it fit to attend a peaceful protest armed with stones and other projectiles, some of them saw it fit to try and uproot a railway line later on in the evening. All worryingly reminiscent of the spontaneous chaos nine years ago.

We are in trouble. I don’t think the country has ever been this divided and most people this blind to their own prejudices, or perhaps everyone is fully aware of the chasm and are choosing to deliberately walk on the edge of this blade.

In the meantime, our names continue to betray us.

“with the police doing all the killing, who do we call when our hero’s are the villain”
― O.S. Hickman 

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He soared with the eagles and now sleeps with the fishes. But in between he lived on his own terms.

Assassination is the extreme form of censorship.
– George Bernard Shaw

Who murdered Jacob Juma? The answer is I don’t know, and in all likelihood neither does anyone reading this.

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What I do know is that this was a man who lived hard and fast, and he had, as a consequence, made many powerful enemies both in the government of the day, in political circles, and even in former business associates. Any of them could have taken his life, safe in the knowledge that the entity (and those who run it) with the monopoly on violence would be first to be fingered.

The same persons controlling this entity could have actually assassinated him, knowing they have the power to scapegoat one of his numerous enemies, such as the already arrested Yongo.

Either way he made it clear he wasn’t afraid to go, this conviction and strength of character gave him the courage and/or foolhardiness to say things and act in ways few of us dare to.

He soared with the eagles and now sleeps with the fishes. But in between he lived on his own terms.

R.I.P JJ

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