Sunday, 5 June 2011

of Picketing and Personalities...




Dear Kenyans

Let me share with you a lesson I learnt recently from my life partner...in all my time living in Kenya, I slinked around perosnalities and individuals who were carrying the mantle of so called "leadership." My opinions and my sentiments were based on the personal characters of these leaders. This influenced my choices in voting and in my expressing who I felt was a better pick from the bunch that place themselves for office...

I didn't realise up until the 48th year of "celebrating madaraka" that my anger and my fight against impunity, corruption and infringement of basic human freedoms is misplaced. Its not about the individuals in positions of power but rather in the systems  and structures in which those positions are created. Laws are not remote things we that do not know about until we are in trouble...laws are our guardians and our protectors from a state state of chaos, fear and oppression. We have stayed so long without law protecting us that impunity is normalised in our lives. We have been repressed for so long, many of us born and many will die without realising our basic human freedoms....this is unacceptable, untenable and if it means drumming this lesson and detoxing our minds to truly seeking freedom then it must start somewhere no matter how small.

A Kenyan citizen in Nyayo Stadium during the Madaraka festivities was peacfully protesting against the high cost of basic commondities. The new contitution that we put into place protects his rights to protest and yet we all witnessed on National TV plainclothes policemen (about 6!) whisking him out of the stadium in the most undignified manner.

So, let us remind ourselves about our Bill of rights pertaining to the right to protest:

'Every person has the right, peaceably and unarmed, to 
assemble, to demonstrate, to picket, and to present petitions to public 
authorities.'

Kenyans, we have laws and systems in place that protect us! These rights are not negotiable and they take effect the minute we born in this country.

This fellow Kenyan has rights and he can exercise them. Part of our struggle to have a better Kenya is to challenge powers that flout the law...today its this manilla picket fencer, tomorrow it will be you or I, the next year it will be a whole nation!

Let us fight for our rights to express a voice of dissent! We need to take action now!

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