BY ALFRED MOSOTI
I have read many media reports, commentaries and listened to debates emanating from extra judicial killings. The most resent case involving a lawyer, his client and driver.
After such killings, where the police have been on the spotlight; several commentators usually castigate security agents either on individual and corporate basis. Nevertheless, they seldom delve into the total effect of these executions. Therefore trend has developed where, after the deceased has been laid to rest; the endless investigation progressively fades away then it becomes business as usual.
The perception of many Kenyans has been if something does not personally and directly affect them; then, they do not bother about it hence assume and only wish that it would not happen to them, their kinsmen or close friends. It is unfortunate that most wanjikus do not see the larger picture or the long term effect of a specific vice, more so extra-judicial executions.
Back to the chilling murders of lawyer late Mr. Willy Kimani, his client Josephat Mwenda their chauffer Joseph Muiruri. May their kinsmen receive my condolences. It is undisputable that they did not deserve to die, their respective families and friend bear the greatest pain and the killers are neither ordinary criminals. It is clear that it was related to the case they had with the police and their ‘collective crime’ seems to have been trying to press charges against the ‘untouchables’.
Then my question is: How does such kind of murder affect the entire nation and the future generation? First, the execution has tarnished the hitherto improved image of the entire police force, particularly the Administrative Police wing which as often headlines for wrong reasons and it will take ‘ages’ for the institution’s name to be restored.
Secondly, as a result of the tarnished image, many potential Kenyan will be reluctant to co-operate with security agents will be reluctant due to the reduced level of trust. Thirdly, most Kenyans who brush shoulders with the individual police officers for whatever reason; will be feel intimidated thus being complacent in seeking legal redress through either, Independent Police Oversight Authority or Court of Law instead, opt to suffer in silence or seek ‘revenge services’ of hit squads.
Fourthly, should other government agencies mandated to handle these murders opt to shield the suspected perpetrators; it too risks loosing public trust thus reducing its legitimacy. This situation will promote the sprouting of criminal gangs since, majority of the citizens neither trust their police or other state agencies mandated to handle Criminal-Justice matters.
Considering that the options open to the Criminal-Justice System are limited and failure or delay to take a drastic action will be counter-productive; it is important that all relevant state bodies take appropriate disciplinary action before things become worse.
The writer is a graduate from Baraton University, a freelance writer and a teacher.
BY ALFRED MOSOTI