Monday, April 03, 2017

Are you a moron?

If you claim, even in jest, that violent crimes are a consequence of poverty or penury, you are an idiot. If you claim with a straight face and without an ounce of irony that it is the "lower" classes who have a propensity to violence, you are an idiot. If you propose that the solution to violent crime is extrajudicial executions by the police, you, dear reader, are a moron. Fear not, sir; I do not weep for violent offenders whose young lives are violently cut short. May, probably all, made their bed and if it turns out to be made up of ballistic rounds, they can't come crying to me about it.

But, I am no champion of the unlawful, excessive and unnecessary employment of force represented by the 7.62mm cartridge travelling at 715 m/s. I may be naive, but giving the forces of law and order the opportunity to play by unconstitutional rules never ends well for the blameless or the innocent. Temporary safety or security may be purchased by the blood of a few alleged violent criminal offenders but, as every victim of a police state will remind us, what was once temporary becomes entrenched soon enough and its entrenchment almost always leads to more and more innocent and blameless citizens facing the same 7.62mm cartridge travelling at the same 715 m/s and not a court of law in sight.

Mzee Jomo Kenyatta and Daniel Moi had the Special Branch and the Police Reserves whose violent notoriety sends shivers down grown men's spines even today. Nyayo House, Nyati House and Ngong Forest recall the worst excesses of a police state run amok. Mwai Kibaki had the Kwekwe Squad and the blood of the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of "Mungiki adherents" who faced the Kwekwe Squad's hail of bullets laid the bloody foundation for the descent into murderous madness that was the benign-sounding post-election violence.

Violence begets violence. This is almost an immutable law of nature. There aren't enough bullets in the world to wage war with the criminal underclass, never mind the confident-sounding declarations of imminent victories by the worthies in charge of national security and public safety. Law and order is not a factor of the application of brute, violent, deadly force but that of the just interpretation and application of the law without fear or favour. Kenya is far from the land of the rule of law.

Kenya has a penchant for shortcuts and it never learns from its mistakes. You can draw a straight line through the violent actions of the Special Branch and Police Reservists in the 1960s and '70s to the political assassinations of the '60s, '70s and '80s to the rise (and attempted violent extermination) of "proscribed sects" such as the Mungiki and similar crime organisations to the elections-related violence of 1992, 1997 and 2007. Kenya bullied its judges and prosecutors to apply the criminal law of the land in increasingly farcically unfair ways and was shocked when crime, including violent crime, spiralled out of control. The unholy trinity of a corrupt venal state applying violence as the solution to all its problems and an atrophied justice system guaranteed that eventually, even the fig leaf of a corrupt judiciary or prosecution service would be unnecessary: undesirables could be eliminated safe in the knowledge that the rest of the people would keep schtum.

When Willie Kimani, Josphat Mwenda and Joseph Muiruri were murdered by policemen in secret and their bodies dumped in a river, the police adapted; instead of hiding their criminality, they went in the opposite direction. All they have to do now is blow you away in broad daylight, claim that you are a known and notorious violent offender and they will get away, literally, with murder. The Independent Policing Oversight Authority will tut-tut in despair and, Pontius Pilate-like, wash its hands of the affair because of a "lack of co-operation by the police leadership" and "intimidation" by the rank and file. The DPP won't prosecute because of "lack of evidence". If the DPP does prosecute, the judiciary will almost always acquit because of the DPP's "shoddy case-preparation." And just like you who have forgotten the names of Willie Kimani's fellow victims, Kenyans will forget about the whole affair.

So, if your answer remains that violent crimes are a consequence of poverty or penury, or that it is the "lower" classes who have a propensity to violence, or that the solution to violent crime is extrajudicial executions by the police, you, dear reader, are a moron.

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