Thursday, April 24, 2014

Too much to ask?

Raila Odinga should really cut short his Boston trip and hurry home; members of the National Assembly are losing their damn minds. The Jubilee side of the aisle misses their favourite punching bag and they are now manufacturing reasons to drag his name into parliamentary debate. The CORD, on the other hand, is rudderless; without his firm hand, its members are incapable of stringing a political sentence together without annoying each other.

On the 24th April, the National Assembly, by this blogger's count, spent approximately a hour debating whether Raila Odinga was a "retired head of state" because the programme he was attending at the Boston University in the United States is reserved "mainly for former heads of state." Kirinyaga MP Joseph Gitari (TNA) is confused about the status of Kenya's former Prime Minister; he wants the Majority Leader to clear the air about the status of the former Prime Minister of Kenya.

Mr Gitari epitomises the intellectual rot afflicting the National Assembly today. Kenya is in the midst of s grueling transition; bits of the North West, including Turkana, West Pokot and the Western edges of Marsabit are in the midst of a serious famine; terror attacks have become the order of the day, the latest atrocity being the bombing of a Pangani Police Station in Nairobi; the cost of living is squeezing the savings of everyone, especially the middle and working classes; and corruption seems to stalk every major capital project of the Jubilee administration.

Parliament has completely abdicated its role in overseeing the National Executive. Rather than debate the wheres and wherebys of the problems bedeviling the country, the likes of Mr Gitari and his counterparts in CORD are unable to turn their minds away from Raila Odinga in order to focus on the things that will make the lives of their constituents better. This is the budget-making period and it boggles the mind that rather than taking into consideration the suffering of Kenyans because of the aftershocks of the implementation of the VAT Act, 2013, the National Assembly is hell-bent in refusing to acknowledge that it has bigger fish to fry than whether Raila Odinga is or is not "a former head of state."

Members of the National Assembly are politicians; it is impossible to imagine that they will never politick with Raila Odinga's name. But one would expect that its members would at least highlight the good work they are engaged in to improve the economy, better train and equip the police, ensure that famine and drought are mitigated, and enhance the capacity of the country to face economic and security challenges. But given that nearly all of them were elected on the back of their presidential candidates' campaigns, and that nearly all of them have the intellectual heft of a feather, it is, perhaps, asking too much of them to think before they introduce certain Questions in the Order Paper.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Operation: Rudi Nyumbani, Jakom!

There is a feeling of dread among the youthful members of society. Many have sacrificed, in their own way, to attend institutions of high or technical learning. Many have spent hundreds of thousands of borrowed funds to finance efforts to "persuade" one personage or another to guarantee them spots in the ranks of the police, NYS, the defence forces or any of scores of public agencies. They listen to the Salaries and Remuneration Commission and the leading lights of the Cabinet led by the President saying that the public service is too bloated, that there is a hiring freeze, that salaries are too high, and their hearts sink.

The Inspector-general and the Director of Criminal Investigation have labelled half the yuthful population of our major towns and cities as a public safety threat; the youth are the ones, in the fevered imaginations of the police top brass, who swell the ranks of criminal gangs, outlawed quasi-religious sects, and cross-border-inspired terror organisations. The private sector, such as it is, especially that part that requires skilled manpower, is bitter at the degraded quality of lawyers, engineers and architects flooding the market with degrees and diplomas. It complains, through chairs of the manufacturers' association or that of the employers' federation, that the cost of training, and retraining, these "graduates" is raising the cost of doing business and depressing their profits and, ultimately, preventing them from reinvesting in new equipment or other capital goods.

While the Jubilee regime is busy patting itself in the back for all its achievements over the past twelve months, and the CORD-led Minority Party is planning the same "very soon," young people get the feeling that they are about to be royally shafted in 2014. If the government is not hiring, and if the private sector is only hiring if it can keep salaries and benefits low, where will the young people go for jobs? The National Executive's penchant for "funds" has not been a rip-roaring success; few of the "entrepreneurs" have managed to escape the poverty trap they were in before the borrowed funds from the national government for entrepreneurial activities for which they lacked training or experience in over 60% of the cases. While the National Executive says no jobs, it unleashes the national police and intelligence agencies on the youth to keep them from "becoming enemies of the people" and committing crimes or terror attacks.

This is the calm in the eye of a tornado. We've suffered the turbulence of the past twelve months with relative calm, even when outrages have been perpetrated against us by the State, the Shabaab, the matatu industry, doctors, teachers, university lecturers, nurses, teaches again, and county governments. By his absence Raila Odinga demonstrates that Kenya is always in ferment when he is around. Look at the quality of public political discourse and you know this to be true: without Raila Odinga as a lightning rod, even the Jubilee regime finds itself unsure of what to do. Mr Odinga must wind up his Boston holiday post haste and hurry back to Nairobi. Without his larger-than-life presence, both the Jubilee and CORD ships are floundering in the ocean. It is time he came back home!

Monday, April 21, 2014

We must play our proper roles.

It is a strange thing to witness the floundering national security apparatus going about the business of finding terrorists and their sympathisers in the full glare of the print, broadcast and social media. It is unusual for the people to have the full facts about security operations; they are usually secret. The security apparatus in Kenya is unaccustomed from communicating effectively. The optics, as US politicians would put it, are not good. The images of police on night raids in Somali-dominant neighbourhoods are a slap in the face of the liberal chatteratti in Nairobi. The response from police spokespersons and "unnamed" sources in the Interior Ministry have been blithe and unseemly.

Some of the statistics are frightening. Since 2011, there have been 84 terrorist attacks. Scores of Kenyans, both Muslim and Christian, have been murdered, scores more have been maimed, perhaps for life. The problem, we are told, is because of al Shabaab whose ranks are populated by undocumented men and women who walk among us, disguised as members of the citizenry. They possess genuine and counterfeit documents of identity including national IDs, passports and driver's licences. They operate bank accounts in our institutions of banking and own real estate in posh and not-so-posh locales. Some work in the public service. Some attend our institutions of learning. Some are our matatu drivers; others sell us the counterfeit DVDs we avidly devour because we cannot patronise the IMAXX on Mama Ngina Street.

Operation: Usalama Watch is what we have because the security apparatus we have will take a decade to reform, retrain and re-equip. The President cannot do more. Kenyans demand change. Today. They do not care for  the financial or legal constraints that hamper efforts to keep them safe. They only care that they are unable to walk home in confidence that they will not face a mad terrorist hell-bent in being the centre of the attention of 72 virgins in paradise.

For two generations, Kenyans have refused to take part in the making of key decisions, leaving it all in the hands of politicians and bureaucrats. Kenyans have been persuaded for decades by politicians and bureaucrats that corruption and corrupt acts are the magic bullets to advancement in life. President Kenyatta has, not to put too fine a point to it, an insidious plan to change the shape of things. Huduma Centres are brilliant; the removal of a middle man from the process of obtaining simple, but critical, public services is a disruptor to the corruption process that many Kenyans have become resigned to. The decision to go ahead with a biometric national ID system will eliminate strangers among us because no one will hide from the national digital database. As a tool to identify terrorists and their sympathisers it will be, in military terms, a "force multiplier." If you can be identified, then you must toe the legal line.

The risk, as always, is that the National Executive may use the national database to identify "enemies of the people" who are a political threat and not a security threat. The database may be used to corral philosophical nay-sayers and harass the civil society industry for doing their work. These are baby steps Kenya is taking. It will take time for all the things that are supposed to work to work. It is too soon to say with certainty that we are wrong or we are right. It will take vigilance, both of terrorists and the government, for the system we want to take shape. It is time Kenyans got off the bench and did their part.

The Shifting Centre.

The centre has not given. Yet. It is only a matter of time before it sinks in that politics in Kenya is not like politics in any of the Western democracies with a presidential system and a two-chamber parliament. This is not the United States; the Constituencies Development Fund does not have the same impact as the appropriation a single members of the US Congress can finagle through the United States's incredibly byzantine system. Power, that is, the power to spend, is moving away from the National Government to the devolved government.

In the United States and France, it is very easy, and affordable, for a constituent to travel to the nation's capital and bend his or her elected representative's ear. When they write, and when they have the power of the media behind them, constituents can affect how an elected representative acts in parliament. The written rules of the parliament can bestow or take away power from the elected representative. In Kenya, the reverse is starkly true. 

Kithure Kindiki and Aden Duale are slowly coming to realise that it is the erstwhile districts that are directly connected to the people. If a constituent cannot easily make it to Nairobi, the reverse is frequently true; it is why Kenya's Members of Parliament are elected and seem to fade away from the memories of their constituents. They rarely go home; they do not hold "surgeries" in their constituencies. When elections are held, few of them are re-elected because they are virtual strangers to the voters who sent them to Nairobi in the first place.

It is governors who the people get to see and hear. It is the decisions made by governors, in conjunction with their assemblies, that now have the greatest impact on the peoples' lives. Governors can re-build dispensaries, primary schools, county roads, drainage systems, sewers, street lights, and markets. Because they are there, governors can attend weddings (very rare in Kenya) or funerals (where Kenyan politics flourishes) without eating into their schedules. Unlike MPs, governors have offices within a short matatu distance from irate constituents; they can respond quickly. MPs are used to making promises they cannot keep and then hiding out in Nairobi until the matter is quickly swept under the carpet. Governors - the good ones - will respond in a way that the constituents can appreciate.

Kenyan MPs are not smart enough to append their names to Bills that will have an impact on the lives of their constituents. They are busy trying to make the Other Side Look Bad through petty politicking without thinking of the next election. They are too busy lining their pockets as fast as they can to even think about the business of representing the interests of their constituents in Parliament. Meanwhile, even the poor governors, are leasing ambulances, cleaning drainage systems, rebuilding roads and bridges, building "people's" parks, wooing "investors" and doing all those things that MPs used to do. They are the face of politics at the grassroots. They have become the new peoples' champions. If the MPs cannot shape up and come up with a new game plan, they are toast. The Eleventh Parliament may be that last Parliament to matter when it comes to "optics" and visibility. Its members can thank the likes of Alfred Mutua, Ali Hassan Joho, Josephat Nanok and Martin Wambora.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

A striking balance.

There is a reason why electing former councillors as Members of County Assemblies will come to bite us in our hindparts. These people, at the best of times, were not the sharpest knives in the drawer.; these are not the best of times. They simply lowered the IQ of a nation by getting up in the morning in the bad old days of the Local Government Act. Way back then, when some uppity local authority made by-laws, the Minister for Local Government had to approve them before they could be enforced. (Uhuru Kenyatta might have been the last Local Government waziri with a sense of style when it came to kanjoras; Musalia was clearly at sea.)

In the age of devolution - the devolution of power and funds from an avaricious, tight-fisted National Executive to the grassroots - it was foolhardy, especially because of the billions that county government would control, to allow councillors to worm their way back into positions of elected responsibility. In contrast to the days when council chairmen and mayors determined budgets, and patronage,  and they could dish out briefcases of cash to their favourite councillors, governors are at the mercy of their county assemblies. Without an understanding between the county executive and the county assembly, nothing will get done, including the pilfering that defined the lives of all former councillors now masquerading as members of county assembles, mini-waheshimiwas.

It takes a special kind of political genius to get anything done in Kenya, and far and away the most innovative governor seems to be Dr Alfred Mutua of Machakos. His county seems to be the epitome of political sanity; do the resident of Machakos County even know who their deputy governor is? By far, the most silent seems to be a toss-up between Dr Julius Malombe of Kitui and Prof Kivutha Kibwana of Makueni; when they two decide to open their mouths, it is always about political fires being put out or some other extra-county authority that is making their counties ungovernable. Creativity is not their strong suite.

Then there are those whom we stare at with pity mixed with a little shame that they are actually governors: Ken Lusaka of Kakamega, Martin Wambora of Embu, Peter Munya of Meru, Jackson Mandago of Uasin Gishu...those ranks have remained steadfastly swollen for the past year. Then there is the lot that simply defies explanation: William Kabogo (Kiambu), Ali Hassan Joho (Mombasa), Kinuthia Mbugua (Nakuru)...the disappointments? Only one comes readily to mind: Dr Evans Kidero (Nairobi City).

What unites all 47 governors in shaking in their boots is the fear that their MCAs may stray far from the reservation: Martin Wambora's goose is cooked unless he can reel back the ring leaders in his county assembly with a few well-deployed briefcases. Kivutha Kibwana might suffer a heart attack from all the trouble the Makueni assembly has caused him; as might Julius Malombe. Dr Mutua seems to have found the combination that keeps his name in the limelight, keeps his deputy's out, and keeps the assembly as pacified as a bunch of ex-councillors with delusions of grandeur can be. Dr Kidero seems to have discovered that Luo Nyanza is his natural habitat; Nairobi City simply has too many things going wrong at the same time that it is never going to be fixed. Ever.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A tale of two cities.

We are oscillating between supporting the National Executive and its security agencies in their crackdowns on terrorists and their sympathisers and agitating for the protection of the rights of the people facing the brunt of the security agencies.A government, any government, is the proverbial ton of bricks if its might is directed against you. The force being brought to bear against the people living in that district known as Eastleigh must be overwhelming. The fear that must pervade the area must be pervasive. And yet, the debate surrounding the operation of the government has subsided; many have retreated to their lives. They are no longer concerned about the siege or the roundups and concentration camp tactic deployed in the search of terrorists and terrorist sympathisers.

It is alleged that in the past two weeks, at the height of the roundups and door-to-door searches, individual police officers and security agents have collected up to seventy-five million shillings in bribes. Whether that is true is not the issue; what is surprising is that the accusation was made by a Senior Counsel not known for flinching in the light of controversy. It might be that the Senior Counsel exaggerates; who would not if it meant seeing your name in lights? But the reputation of the security apparatus of Kenya has hit nadirs so many times that few are surprised when an allegation such as the one about the seventy-million shillings bribe will go unchallenged even from the National Executive, and the leadership of the National Police Service or the National Intelligence Service.

While proof was not adduced as to who murdered Aboud Rogo or Abubakar Sharif, many were willing to believe that it were security agents who shot them dead in cold blood. The recent exercises in vetting of police officers has exposed the security establishment to unfamiliar scrutiny. Multi-millionaires in the ranks are unable to explain the sources of their wealth. Rumours about police officers owning matatus and therefore, being leery about enforcing the Traffic Act, or policemen so poor that they moonlight as guns-for-hire or, worse, hire out their firearms to other gunmen, are believed without hesitation.

It is only a certain section of the middle classes who could, in all honesty, agree with the good intentions of the National Executive. These are people who live in relatively secure residential districts. (The recent attacks against elected representatives are anomalies.) Their roads, street lights, drains and sewers are in good condition. Their personal and home security is very good; many retain the services of private security guards. The police are unlikely to come knocking on their doors in the middle of the night "searching for illegals". Their cars are unlikely to be stopped at police road-blocks and searched for firearms or explosives. Even if they fit the profile of the people the police they are searching for, if they happen to live in Lavington, Muthaiga, Kitisuru, Kileleshwa, Red Hill, Runda, Nyari or Spring Valley, the police are unlikely to trouble them. (I don't know about the Traffic Police; those are a law unto themselves.)

Other Kenyans do not enjoy that luxury of the presumption of innocence. It is not seen as a right in Eastleigh, Dandora, Kariobangi North (and South), Ruai, Doonholm, Mwiki, Zimmerman, or Githurai. "Utajibu maswali mbele" is the response even when you have valid documents of identity on your person. (A swift bribe might change your circumstances for the better though.)  The roads, drains, sewers, street lights and pavements in these areas are distinct only when they are patched up. Crime is rife. Corruption is pervasive. The people have been desensitised to an extent that the plight of their fellowman is none of their business. It is why they do not care about the crackdowns and roundups in Eastleigh; it is fact of life for them.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Beware the Ides of March.

In the time of war, the law falls silent. That was Cicero. He supported the appointment of Julius Caesar by the Roman Senate as dictator. It ended in tears when Brutus, Julius's most trusted confidant, conspired with other senators to assassinate Caesar on the senate floor. Each of the conspirators stabbed him.

Kenya has not appointed a dictator. Neither the Senate nor the National assembly has abrogated its powers under the Constitution. Uhuru Kenyatta is not a dictator. He swore, on the bible by the by, to uphold the laws of Kenya, the Constitution and the laws of nations in the execution of his duties as President and Commander-in-Chief of the Kenya Defence Forces. Therefore, one seeks to know by what authority his government has rounded up thousands of suspects, concentrated them at the Safaricom Stadium at Kasarani, subjected them to vetting by the National Police Service, the Immigration Department, the Anti-terrorism Police Unit and God knows who else in the name of seeking to protect Kenyans from a war being waged by an unknown enemy.

Many Kenyans have come out in support of the President and his government in the tactics they have used in the past week in attempt to take the war to al Shabaab. Very few have thought to question whether, in a nation with a written constitution, a broad set of written laws and a Parliament that represents their interests, it is fit and proper for due process to be abrogated for the sake of temporary safety. Some of those rounded up have been identified as having committed offences. Some have been identified as being prohibited immigrants under Kenya's immigration laws. But few have been identified as having waged war against Kenya.

There are those who would not argue with the description of Kenya's borders with Ethiopia, South Sudan and Somalia as porous. President Kenyatta is acutely aware of this; in one of his first decisions as President, he directed the Cabinet Secretary for Defence to spend four billion shillings to bolster Kenya's defence. In a recent interview to commemorate one year in office, he declared that the Government of Kenya would do all it takes to keep Kenyans safe. He was broad on rhetoric and short on specifics.

The defence of the realm must be done in the context of the laws of the realm. Presidents cannot make their own laws as they go along except as they are permitted by the Constitution. This dictum has been challenged by the amorphous nature of the enemy Kenya and many nations face in what George W Bush, the forty-third president of the United States called the global war on terror. Kenya has a dark history in the abrogation of the laws of the land; massacres, unlawful detentions, detentions without trial, disappearances and assassinations were the order of the day in the 1960s, '70s and '80s. It all started with the idea that the President could declare a person an enemy of the state and use whatever tools he had at his disposal to dispose of these enemies.

Kenyans pray that the President has a plan and that it has nothing to do with the reincarnation of the imperial president many Kenyans buried with the ratification of the Constitution in 2010. Parliament has proven to be supine; its leadership has done nothing to temper the enthusiastic application of draconian tactics in the war against radicalism in Kenya. The Judiciary is in crisis. Its leadership is in the middle of an internecine war to control the billions allocated to it by the National Assembly. It falls on the people, on whose behalf and for whose interests the President, his coalition and his government govern to temper the inclinations of the President. If the non-elected leaders among us lead the cheer in the violation of the principles enshrined in the Bill of Rights, they will find themselves standing alone when the untrammelled power of the President is directed at them.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

What else can we do?

If the United States, Great Britain, the Russian Federation, the Philippines, India or Spain have been unable to solve their problems with restive minorities with a penchant for grenades, assault rifles and improvised explosive devises, who are we to declare that the recent approach by the Ministry of the Interior and Co-ordination of National Government to identify "the enemies within" is the wrong one? While the "sealing off" of Eastleigh estate and the rounding up of thousands of "suspects" and concentrating all of them at the Safaricom stadium formerly known as the moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani, might evoke images of Stalin's gulags or Hitlers concentration camps for those who subscribe to the History Channel, it is time someone asked the more fundamental question: will we treat Cabinet Secretary Joseph Ole Lenku with kid gloves the next time a violent atrocity is perpetrated against innocent Kenyans? The answer, this blogger believes, is "No!"

Since the Republic of Somalia disintegrated in 1991, Kenya has played host to hundreds of thousands of Somali refugees. Because it took close to twenty years for the fighting to abate long enough for some semblance of normalcy to return to Mogadishu, many citizens of Somalia have become integrated into Kenyan society, especially among their co-religionists and ethnic kinsmen living in Nairobi, Mombasa, Mandera and Wajir and until the United States'-led Global War on Terror crossed the Atlantic, Kenyans and Somalians had lived in peace sans suspicion. When George Bush the Younger declared a global war on terror, he invited every one with an axe to grind against the United States to go to war against the United States. It is how Kenyans, who have never really been on the receiving end of US war planes or tanks or missiles, would not think twice about following the teachings of a preacher and head for Mogadishu or Kismayu to wage war against the Kenya Defence Forces in the ranks of al Shabaab.

For forty years, the only problems Kenya had were political; with the job of establishing a one-party state cut out for President Kenyatta the Elder and Daniel Toroitich arap Moi, the received wisdom from Yosip Broz Tito to Deng Xioping to Nicalae Ceaucescu to Yoweri Museveni was pretty much clear. In the 1980s, it was the foolhardy who would pretend to the throne that was the presidency. It is with the collapse of the one-party firmament that Kenya started flirting with "youth-wingers" and "militias." The murder, rapine and looting that engulfed the nation in 1992 sowed the seeds for the restiveness in Kenya's Coast, North East and Northern Frontier. Uhuru Kenyatta finds himself fighting, in effect, a secession without the tools to do it. Taking a leaf out of the US experience in Iraq, Kenya seeks to expel all "prohibited immigrants" because they contribute to the ranks of the malcontents fomenting war against Kenya. What choice is there? 

Simply because they come from dire circumstances is not sufficient not to act against them. Simply because it is a corrupt system that encouraged their becoming prohibited immigrants is not a sufficient reason not to act against them. Some are dangerous; some have actively fought the Government of Kenya. Kenya does not have the surgical precision of identifying everyone as do the USA, Great Britain or Spain. Therefore, we will use the blunt weapon of "wapi ID?" and mass deportations. If the bleeding hearts outside the Safaricom stadium have another way of separating the sheep from the wolves, please, share them with Joseph ole Lenku.

The people love a show.

We are a nation of laws, a kienyeji version of the American wild west or something in between. Dr Willy Mutunga, Prof Githu Muigai, Keriako Tobiko and David Kimaiyo will argue that Kenya is a nation of laws. The families of the slain Aboud Rogo and, lately, Abubakar Shariff will argue that Kenya is a kienyeji version of the wild west; not even the rudimentary honour code that prevailed in the wild west is to be found in Kenya. Many Kenyans despair that Kenya lies in between these extremes.

Aboud Rogo and Abubakar Shariff stated their positions plainly: they agreed with the violent expressions of religious zeal by al Shabaab. It remains unclear whether they used the mosques, from which they preached, to recruit Kenyans to fight for al Shabaab; the Governments of Kenya, the United States, the United Kingdom and half-a-dozen others claim that both the slain men were recruiters for al Shabaab and that they were responsible for planning terrorists attacks on Kenyan soil against the Government of Kenya and governments friendly to Kenya.

It is whispered in dark alleys that it is indeed government operatives who despatched the pair to meet their maker. No proof have been adduced to prove this. What is notable is that leading members of society argue that if it was the government's operatives who murdered the two men, then it was fit and proper for the government to have ordered the killings. After all, these leading lights argue, these were men who had declared war on Kenya, who sympathised and supported an enemy of Kenya, and who were unapologetic about the blood of Kenyans that had been spilled in their little war with Kenya. Needless to say, these leading lights do not see the benefit of an arrest, arraignment, prosecution, conviction, sentencing and punishment process for the likes of the late Mr Rogo or the late Mr Abubakar. Due process is not for the "enemies of Kenya" they would argue.

The United States has pioneered this pre-emptive approach to national security over the past twelve years. Since al Qaeda exposed the fatal weakness in a national security apparatus that relies on war ships, strategic bombers and nuclear missiles, the United States has developed a national security strategy that has elided the rule of law and has all but re-written the grounds for the application or suspension of due process. It seems that all the President of the United States has to do is to designate you an enemy combatant waging war against the United States and hellfire will rain down on you courtesy of the Reapers and Predators that prowl the night sky. The United States, it seems, has found an ardent disciple in the Government of Kenya, if the rumours about the deaths of Messrs Rogo and Abubakar are true. Death may not come by hellfire missile, but it will be extra-legal; relying only on the president's decree.

If only we were capable of learning from our mistakes and those of others. "Pre-emption" is not new; it has been applied for millennia. Kenya's history with pre-emption is very dark. Some will argue that this blogger is woefully out of line when he argues that the deaths of Tom Mboya, Pio Gama Pinto, Josiah Mwangi Kariuki and Robert Ouko were an application of the doctrine of pre-emption at its basest. But consider this. They were leading lights of restive communities who would one day command sizeable constituencies that would challenge the established orders of their particular days. Messrs Rogo and Abubakar may have been hate-filled, hate-mongering villains; but none can argue convincingly that they did not have a growing following or that their positions were illegitimate among their followers.

What may supporters of their executions declare is that Messrs Rogo and Abubakar had committed grave, treasonous crimes against Kenya. If this were true, evidence to support such accusations must surely have existed. If such evidence existed, its veracity should have been tested in the courts of law. If the evidence was robust, Messrs Rogo and Abubakar would be pursuing appeals after appeals while cooling their heels in inhospitable surroundings such as Kapenguria or Manyani prison camps. Those applauding their executions contend that Kenya's prosecution and judicial systems cannot be trusted to do the right thing. The police would inevitably screw up the investigation; the prosecution wouldn't have a forensic leg to stand on to successfully obtain a conviction; but were the two somehow to get it right, the magistrate hearing the case would be swayed by a Very Large Briefcase of money. Their argument goes like this: we know they are guilty; we cannot prove their guilt; rather than leave them to commit more crimes, we will murder them and the people will love us for it. They forget that the people who celebrated your coronation are the same ones who will cheer at your be-heading; the people love a show.