Monday, March 14, 2016

The incongruity of Governor Jack Bauer

I would also remind you that in view of this revocation, you are now illegally in possession of the following firearms, Rifle 375 S/No. G10152273, Pistols S/No CHH 692 and VFR 841 and all ammunition thereof.
That excerpt is from a notice sent to a Governor by the Chief Firearms Licensing Officer. I wonder why a Governor feels the need to wander about armed to the teeth like some character out of an action movie.

I don't think my Governor has much to worry from the riffraff with bad intentions. He should focus instead on whether I will support his re-election in 2017. These people have the wherewithal to hire, out of their own pockets, a praetorian guard to keep them from getting assassinated by unsuccessful tender applicants and similarly disgruntled elements, but if they labour under the delusion that the ordinary mwananchi who has suffered the ill-effects of their misrule will be conspiring with similarly misruled residents of the county to murder them as their cavalcades speed past from one Big Meeting to the next, their delusions would seem to have no bounds.

The spectre of armed elected officials should sit uncomfortably with the voters of Kenya. It reinforces the us/them dichotomy that they have struggled to build. They treat themselves as an elite in every sense, yet by their very definition, they are a reflection of the collective us. They are a reflection of our ambitions and desires, but they seem to forget this as soon as they secure high political office. Now some of them may have been roaming around armed to the teeth before they were elected, but there is no reason to fear your voters once elected, unless you lied, cheated and stole your way to electoral victory. If that be the case, all the armed elected officials of this country have a reason to worry. After all bad things happen to bad people.

It has never sat well with me that at least 11,000 policemen are dedicated to the safety of elected leaders. I can understand the need to protect the elected officials of Wajir, Mandera, Turkana and West Pokotwhen they are in Wajir, Mandera, Turkana, West Pokot, Lamu and Tana River, but there is no rationale for these same officials are speeding around in their tax-payer funded SUV cavalcades while on the silky-smooth bits of tarmac in Nairobi. Those 11,000 policemen should be deployed to those bits of Kenya that don't have silky-smooth bits of tarmac and serious national security or public safety problems.

Have you never wondered what would happen if the armed elected official were to discharge a firearm in public? Do you not see the incongruity of, say, a Governor brandishing his Tokarev TT-30 8-round pistol like some movie hero, because his police bodyguards have somehow forgotten their firearms training and close protection techniques in the face of their total failure in threat and risk assessment and have completely failed in their principal task of keeping the Governor safe in his armoured SUV? If you don't, then you, more than the Governor, have a completely wrong-headed idea of what your government is, what it can do and what it should do.

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