JUSTICE n 1. the quality or fact of being just. 2. Ethics. the principle of fairness of like cases should be treated alike. 3. the administration of law according to proscribed and accepted principles. 4. conformity to the law. (Collins Dictionary & Thesaurus, Third Ed., 2004)Justice n. 1. The fair and proper administration of laws. (Black's Law Dictionary, Eighth ed. 2004)
I like the law. It gives me hope that peoples can govern themselves without to resorting to violence to resolve disputes. I also despair. Kenya has proven time and again that intolerance and rigidity are its defining qualities.
Many canards have been spread about what this country is and what it aspires to be. The history of this nation is a history of betrayals right from the gun-toting bible-wielding settlers of the 1890s to the bloodthirsty freedom fighters of the 1950s to the assassination-prone politicians of the 1960s and '70s to the corrupt murderers of the 1980s and '90s. What has changed has been the increasing desperation and disillusionment of the people of Kenya, such disillusion and desperation being used to scare them into making fatal mistakes every now and then.
The greatest betrayers of Kenyan society in the recent past have been the various faces of the Church leadership in Kenya. In 2005 and 2007, instead of leading the flock, church leaders, especially of the pentecostal and evangelical brands, lied and misled Kenyans. The results, not surprisingly, were chaos and death. Other than the 1998 Bomb Blast and the violence related to the deportation of Abdullah el-Faisal, I think Christians have been responsible for more violence than Muslims. Even the Shifta Wars of the 1960s and '70s, were perpetrated against the Somali Kenyan Muslims by state, which culminated in the Wagalla massacre in 1984.
Now we are being scared with tales of 'abortion on demand' and 'Kadhis' Courts. I wish I could say that I didn't care and that people were free to spread fear and discontent and misogyny and and xenophobia because it is their right to speak their mind. But I cannot.
I have travelled widely in this country and I know for a fact that the level of poverty in this country is extreme. The number of Kenyans who have access to adequate and affordable primary health care is small and dwindling. The number of Kenyan women who have access to contraception, prenatal and maternity health care is small, and dwindling. The number of women surviving childbirth is increasingly under threat. The number of women who fall pregnant as a result of sexual violence (witness the chaos of 2007/08), incest or failing contraception is on the rise. But the saddest are those who were betrayed by their friends and families or had their childhoods torn asunder by their guardians.
It is claimed by religious fundamentalists that ALL pregnancies should be carried to term, that life begins at conception and ends at natural birth. I have no quarrel with this position so long as it is a religious position. But if my daughter was the victim of rape, right after exacting my personal vengeance on her attacker, I would support her fully if she chose to terminate the pregnancy. My church would prefer that she suffers the emotional and physical scars for all eternity! In MBO v Republic  eKLR, the Court of Appeal has just convicted a 63-year old man to 10 years with hard labour for sexually molesting children aged 6, 9, and 11 years. The church has failed to stem the tide of this rot and now it is threatening us with eternal damnation if women are given the right to choose, which they are not in this draft.
The provisions of Article 26 are the most draconian I have ever seen. The draft has been used as a Roman broad sword to cut a swath in the Kenyan body politic. One day the church leaders will realise that their job was to interpret the Word of God, not to speak for Him. The stand they take today will either make them or break them. I am afraid, they will fail and even if they succeed, they will still fail because provisions on abortion make lesser demands under the Penal Code than in the draft and the Kadhis still exist in the constitution. What we will be left with is an overmighty presidency whose powers have been used more for ill than for good.