Friday, May 31, 2013

Stationary Jogging?

It is getting worse. While the men and women in charge of policy on policing in Kenya duke it out over who has the power and who does not, Kenyans continue to suffer security predations that place them in the same security quartile as Somali, Afghanistan, Colombia, Pakistan and Honduras. The wise men and women of the Committee of Experts listened hard and read all there was to read regarding the state of policing in Kenya. In harmonising the various draft constitutions into one, they knew that they were the first step to reforming policing in Kenya. Their work has been sabotaged ever since they would up their duties and the Constitution was promulgated in 2010.

Kenya's policing structure is still in a shambles. It is not clear at the grassroots from who officers would be taking directions or to whom they should report regarding purely policing matters. It remains unclear what role county Executives will play in policing in the counties or whether they'll have a say in policing priorities. In the middle of this confusion criminals and terrorists have stepped in with gusto. Incidences of night-attacks in Western Kenya and terror attacks in North-Eastern Kenya are on the rise. Armed robberies in Nairobi, Central and parts of Rift Valley are on the rise. Kidnappings are becoming prevalent, even against families that claim to live in abject circumstances begging the question why they are targeted to begin with. Then you have the ballooning of "victimless" crimes such as prostitution and generalized petty corruption.

Slowly, and perhaps because of the narrative perpetuated by civil society of a criminal National Executive, but surely Kenyans are developing a contempt for the rule of law. Every day we see proof of men and women who have "gotten away with it." Remember the head of the national HIV/AIDS program who was pardoned by Mwai Kibaki despite the fact that millions of Kenyans were placed at risk because of her thievery? Do you know that ever since the Island of jersey's authorities demanded the extradition of Chris Okemo and Sam Gichuru, not once have they denied that they did not commit corrupt acts, only that they UK authorities do not have a right to seek their extradition? Did you know that for years teachers and head-teachers accused of impregnating their female students, or otherwise taking sexual advantage of their students, were neither arraigned in court or punished in any way other than to be transferred out of their stations placing new children in different schools at risk of their predatory activities?

Despite Dr Willy Mutunga's heroic attempts to improve the image of the Judiciary, whether as the head of the Judiciary or the Chairman of the Judicial Service Commission, it is only the elite of the elite who believe that the Judiciary has been "reformed". Ordinary, man-or-woman-on-the-street Kenyans know that more often than not it is the man with the fattest wallet that gets "justice" in Kenya's hallowed halls of justice; the rest of us have to make do with the short end of the judicial stick should we find ourselves in a sticky wicket.

So it is not a surprise that the National Executive's priorities regarding policing have little to do with policing; they have everything to do with maintaining their political and executive power before all else. Kenyans, as is their wont, are resigned to this state of affairs because they know that even the men and women they elected to represent their interests are not going to do much unless Kenyans will give in to their demands for fatter wallets. The choice of Cabinet Secretary in charge of policing is disappointing. It remains to be seen whether the National Executive's choice will receive the respect and support from the security firmament to complete the reforms that have stalled since the Constitution was promulgated. Meanwhile, Kenyans continue to suffer banditry, terrorism and armed robbery.

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