News from the Motherland

And I am not talking about Russia.

2 weeks or so ago, we had elections. Several things have since happened and continue to happen. The first good news is we elected a functional illiterate as the governor for Nairobi. Clap for us. In another county, the governor-elect had to resign in the last government because he failed as a cabinet secretary. But you see, here, we love failures. We can’t do better. In yet, another county, their new governor was dismissed from the cabinet following accusations of theft of public funds in the tune of billions of shillings. You can see the trend, can’t you? We reward thieves, illiterates and failures with public office. So if you are anyone of the following, come, it is possible you will win before any honest citizen. We had exemplary candidates for MP [member of parliament], MCA[Member of County Assembly] but do you know what we did, elected thieves, illiterates and failures.

There is a petition at Supreme Court contesting the declaration of the presidential results. In 2013, I wrote about this court. It didn’t inspire confidence then, it doesn’t do so now. The justices, in a fit of drunkenness with power, warned us not discuss the matter before them. How wrong they are. We cannot live the question to the judges. We have a duty, a moral duty, to have a national dialogue on the conduct of the elections. And this right is protected in the freedom of expression and opinion. We can have an opinion and express it. They should concentrate on the evidence before them and let us the hell alone. Only now, they are on notice. This quote

This fatalism, however, will not stop me from speaking the truth that supports my cause. My appearance before this Court may be a pure farce in order to give a semblance of legality to arbitrary decisions, but I am determined to wrench apart with a firm hand the infamous veil that hides so much shamelessness. It is curious: the very men who have brought me here to be judged and condemned have never heeded a single decision of this Court.

from History will absolve me, by Fidel, best captures the prevailing mood for a large section of the population. We know the court is a farce. That its ruling is most likely to be an insult to our collective intelligence, but, we still go ahead with it. The electoral body blatantly disregarded court rulings on the conduct of elections. The executive has made it a habit to be always in contempt of court. The court is in contravention of the constitution on its composition.

I am certain the justices or their minions don’t read my blog, but they should take heed of this warning

Since this trial may, as you said, be the most important trial since we achieved our national sovereignty, what I say here will perhaps be lost in the silence which the dictatorship has tried to impose on me, but posterity will often turn its eyes to what you do here. Remember that today you are judging an accused man, but that you yourselves will be judged not once, but many times, as often as these days are submitted to scrutiny in the future. What I say here will be then repeated many times, not because it comes from my lips, but because the problem of justice is eternal and the people have a deep sense of justice above and beyond the hairsplitting of jurisprudence. The people wield simple but implacable logic, in conflict with all that is absurd and contradictory.

While an individual is not on trial, the court, while being the arbitrator on the dispute, is itself on trial. Anyone who can’t see that, is for shortness of my vocabulary, is an idiot. The independence of the court is on trial. The ability of the court to set a precedent in law that can be applied elsewhere not just in Africa, but in the entire commonwealth.

Related to matters elections, John Kerry, former secretary of state put his foot in his mouth when he made pronouncements on our election. Kenyans from all walks of life have advised him to help in the investigation at home in trying to determine if the Russians were involved in the US elections. Our matters are too complex for him.

On the constitutionality of the state organs, a number of us are petitioning the courts to rule that the state is in contravention of the supreme law.

Section 81 (b) on representation of the people is categorical that

not more than two thirds of the members of elective public bodies shall be of the same gender

And article 3 (2) is also categorical that

Any attempt to establish a government otherwise than in compliance with this constitution is unlawful

We pay an attorney general whose work, as stated in article 156 is the legal adviser to the government. What advise is he giving the government if he can’t point out such illegalities?

The constitution establishes the office of the judiciary. Their work, among others include interpreting the law. Since these judges and magistrates are first and foremost citizens, they should be at the forefront of defending the constitution. It is, in my view, dereliction of duty, for them to sit pretty, getting fat on the money we pay them waiting for some citizen to go to court to seek determination on these illegalities, when these are apparent. I argue that they are irresponsible citizens and should all be sent home for failing to uphold and defend the constitution which they took an oath to do.

And lastly, there is a more interesting debate going on too. There is a petition, by some communities, to secede. Those who want to secede refer to themselves as the Peoples Republic of Kenya and want secession from the Central Republic of Kenya. Whether it gathers enough signatures or not, it has brought to the forefront a big debate on statehood. On what it means to be Kenyan and why anyone would want to be in Kenya.

Judges, stand up. Be counted. Don’t sleep on the job.

Watch this space.

Socrates and religious persecution

To most of us, the mention of Socrates elicits either the thoughts about being a good citizen, dying a good death or the Socratic dialogues brought to us by Plato. In his apology, he asks his hearers not to consider him extravagant when he tells them the god at Delphi declared him the wisest of men. He narrates his search for a man wiser than himself and at last comes to the conclusion that the Oracle was indeed right. He concludes thus

Well, although I do not suppose that either of us knows anything really beautiful and good, I am better off than he is – for he knows nothing, and thinks that he knows. I neither know nor think that I know. In this latter particular, then, I seem to have slightly the advantage of him.

There is another way of looking at the trial and subsequent sentence of Socrates, one that I guess others may have written on. I digress to mention the accusers he identified. Of the first accusers he says he can’t name them, that he will fight their shadows. They charge him as follows

Socrates is an evil-doer, and a curious person, who searches into things under the earth and in heaven, and he makes the worse appear the better cause; and he teaches the aforesaid doctrines to others.

The second class of accusers, of whom we are interested, represented by Meletus he says charge him thus

That Socrates is a doer of evil, and corrupter of the youth, and he does not believe in the gods of the state, and has other new divinities of his own.

If you haven’t noticed, Socrates’ trial was/ is a case of religious intolerance. There is no difference between the trial of Socrates and that of George William Foote tried in Britain for similar crimes in the late 19th Century.

I hope I haven’t lost you as yet. I don’t want to bore you with history, there is a case like this at present and we need your help to ensure this is the last of them.

In Saudi Arabia, a young man has been accused of atheism and spreading atheistic ideas (via the internet), and sentenced to six years in prison and 600 lashes – he appealed, and the appeals court not only maintained the conviction, but increased the sentence to 10 years and 1000 lashes.

It saddens me to hear that somewhere on this rock we inhabit, a man is not free to hold and express an honest opinion. That those who claim to worship gods seem to be as savage as they gods they worship. They worship gods who kill, or condone killing are tyrants and for whom, all honest men cannot point to one thing that heavens have has done to humanity other than being the reason is some conflicts that have led to massive loss of lives.

There is a petition to the UN that I think all of you are going to sign to abolish blasphemy laws and most of all seek the immediate release of the said young man. If gods exist and they are powerful, they can handle their shit. The question we demand to be answered is on whose authority do those who punish others for offenses deemed to have been committed against god act?  And how was this authority given them?

Let us join hands and fight this inhumane act. Let us not be silent. And in the words of pastor Martin Niemöller

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out– Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out– Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out– Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me–and there was no one left to speak for me.