You fought for and got jailed because of reforms, thank you; Now, do you have to repay yourselves with our tax money?
I was thinking….. justice has finally come! In the form of a studded CJ and his nose-pinching deputy. How wrong I was!
As I sat at my office desk in a building next to the new Milimani Law courts a while back, I sometimes caught tiny reflections of something glittering in the sun. Because the new Chief Justice had just moved there, I wisely presumed that the glittering ‘thingy’ was the single stud on the CJ’s left ear. Whenever I saw it, my heart would do a little victory dance.
We were finally saved.
We were going to have a reformed judicial system. The poor would get long deserved justice. Their land and property would be given back. We had put someone who understood the plight of the common mwananchi. He was even jailed in the 1980’s for fighting the common man’s battle. He had our interests at heart.
They vetted him in public. Public crucifixion. He emerged clean, save for the stubborn stud that lay firmly on his left ear.
We had won. The new constitution was promulgated as we looked on, heartbeats quickened.
We’d all live happily ever after!
But somehow, when you live in Kenya, at some point the scandals and stories of corruption, disappearing budgetary allocation and political happenings erode your innocence, and your belief in the African leader. They eat you up, these things and rid you of all naïve wishes of a dirt-free government-digital or otherwise. So you just hold your breath, ear on the ground and wait for the next big scandal that will make us forget the previous one.
Therefore as we settled in to watch OTP627 spill her beans to Bensouda and met to ruminate on their implications to us,lady CRJ started crying wolf; we turned to look at her, not surprised at the timely interception.
Ndrama it was, as we read, page by page through the CJ’S new edition of Tsao Tzu’s ‘The Art of War’ in a local daily. Step by step strategies on how one of his ‘enemies’ was to be vanquished.
Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. The CRJ Insisted on a public hearing. She decided that if she was going to go down, shed gladly clutch onto the CJ. That they may fall together.
From the falling CRJ’s sleeve came shocking revelations about the Judiciary. Of deliberate out of town meetings that would allow for extra allowances; and twice as many meetings as are legally allowed with sitting allowances of 80,000shillings per sitting. Of bi-annual allowances totaling to 18million shillings per person (some civil servants work up to retirement without reaching this figure).
Then came her blow.
These people, some of whom had faced Moi and told him off because of bad governance. People who had formed and joined secret movements like Mwakenya. People who devoured Marxism and socialism and braved cold wet nights and torture at Nyayo house. People who’d taken oaths to protect freedom and democracy. People who were sworn in to uphold justice but were now withholding it.
Sent one of their own conspirators home.
We are left asking ourselves questions. Who will judge the judges? Who will condemn the condemners? Will they themselves? Will we? Will posterity? Tell me Willy, who will?
Perhaps, you only make noise until it is your turn to eat. Then, because of your exceptional table manners, you shut up and eat.
You only shout yourself hoarse when you are being oppressed. Then when you are crowned a ‘Shujaa’ you now take off your sheeps’ skin and let us see the wolf within. After all, Wata do?
You scribble it down, Your Memoir, while conveniently leaving out the chapters on corruption and thievery. At the end of your term in office, you publish it and title it ‘The Long Fight For Justice’. You launch it with color and fanfare, as universities rush to confer you degrees and honors. Meanwhile, MPs meet to debate on just why the ‘Salaries and Remuneration Commission’ should be disbanded for giving you peanuts to take home. They then approve a better send-off package for you, Good man CJ. For selflessly serving your country with honor, integrity and transparency. A real Shujaa.
Happy Mashujaa Day Sir!