Thursday, August 24, 2017

The System

The System. Do you know what the System is? Or what it does? In Kenya, the System is all those things that keep the Government and the governed apart and nothing separates the two like the Constitution. The Bill of Rights, for example, is the biggest barrier between Government and the Governed. All the rights it enumerates and fundamental freedoms it affirms are the rights and freedoms that Government would like to minimise, ignore, violate or erase. However, the highest barrier between the people and their government is elections. The procedure for holding an election is elaborate, convoluted and prone to misuse and abuse. An election reminds millions of Kenyans that among them the haves have more than the have-nots and, bar one or two peoples' revolts, the haves always buy elections as one more marker of superiority over the have-nots. The System is the penal code that guarantees that very, very few haves will ever pay the true price for the crimes many haves commit while the have-nots will have the whole law-book hurled at them by the police, the DPP, magistrates, appeals' judges, and probation and prison officers. "The fullest extent of the law" might as well be the thick red line between the governed -- who mostly have not -- and Government -- which mostly exists to give succour to the haves.

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