Sunday, June 08, 2008
The Amnesty Monster
Despite being a terminological inexactitude (no amnesty without conviction/confession), the amnesty debate for those involved in last year’s post-election violence refuses to die. With the two PRINCIPALS taking diametrically opposing stands on the matter, amnesty may as well stand out as the single issue that will determine the gestation period of the Government of Grand Coalition.
Daggers are drawn and both parties are spoiling for a fight. All the good statements of intent are mere diplospeak as tension heightens among the coalition partners. The unpleasant truth remains the fact that the international community forced PNU and ODM into political marriage which the two parties have done little to consummate. At the heart of this amnesty monster lies the protagonists’ core voting blocks. While Kibaki wants to show his Central and its diaspora’s voting base who is in charge, Raila has to disabuse his foot soldiers of the notion that ODM is nothing but a flower girl in the political union.
Pulling in opposite direction never resulted into harmony of neither ideas nor force. Both Kibaki and Raila are simply playing psychological wars to advance their party lines. Such theatrics would be alright were it not for the fact that their action amounts to playing Russian roulette with Kenyans’ lives. IDPs form the nucleus of this theatre of absurd. Our politicians have insensitively transformed the fate of these Kenyans to those of prisoners of war. On one hand PNU talks tough on enforcing the law while on the other ‘toothless’ ODM stakes meaningful reconciliation of on their release.
No selective justice
No civilized society entertains the culture of impunity. Similarly it amounts to the pot calling the kettle black when a paragon of IMPUNITY shouts fire in a crowded hall by admonishing the same vice oblivious of the fact that he initiated the same. Justice only serves its purpose when applied impartially. Selective application of justice cannot remedy any crisis save for soothing individual egos. Those who killed and raped other Kenyans must promptly face the full force of the law regardless of their first language. Similarly the many Kenyan youths locked up for simply demonstrating with placards protesting a STOLEN ELECTION must be freed.
It is foolish to criminalize dissent and even shamelessly attempt to legislate peace. It is typical Kenyan way of doing things when we avoid making hard decisions and opt for quick fixes whose cheap results will predictably bounce back to disfigure our face. Until we acknowledge that we are in a crisis and face it head on, we are only fooling ourselves as a country whose leadership is best defined by the three pillars of DECEPTION, FRAUD and TRICKERY. Honesty is one rare commodity within our borders. No wonder we are the only country in the world that hires out military choppers for political errands.