By Salah Abdi Sheikh
I stand for justice and legality. No suspect should be deprived of his life without judicial process. No criminal proved in a court of law should be left roaming the streets.
If the state becomes an executioner without following the rule of law, then the state is more dangerous to society than the criminals. Right now the assassinations have made life cheap. Look at the history of this country, how many people have been assassinated? Makaburi is just one guy, the list of victims is too long. The state seems to have an addiction to human blood.
In history, even the most powerful states killed those it could not control. Remember, Malcolm X, a fiery Islamic preacher that they accused of preaching hate? They killed him. Remember, Martin Luther King who was a moderate, pacifist black activist? They killed him too. Even in the U.S, the dominant group doesn’t like to be challenged.
In Apartheid South African when “terrorist” Steve Biko was tortured and killed, the security Minister said in Parliament, ” Steve Biko’s death leaves me cold”. The white South African children were taught that Steve Biko would kill them and maybe cook them for dinner. In Kenya today, if you read newspapers or watch TV, the hysteria for action against unknown terrorists is deafening. What action can the state take against faceless people? They have to be given a name and a face. Excuses have to be created to take action. With a history of high level assassinations and with “targeted killings” protocol of the Americans, this country is implementing a new security strategy using an old tactic; cold blood, public, execution-type assassinations.
In Kenya’s history, Tom Mboya, darling of Kenyatta, cut down. J. M. Kariuki, critic of Kenyatta regime, fallen. Remember the activists shot down in town the other year? Were they criminals? Professor Mbai? The witnesses in Ouko case, any alive? None. Remember, the Kikuyu young men accused of being Mungiki? Any evidence they were? None. What about Mt. Elgon, what really happened? Did you read the TJRC report? It reads like the script for a horror movie. What about Wagalla, were the thousands of men criminals?
Assassination is the modus operandi in this country, it doesn’t matter who is the victim today. It doesn’t even matter Makaburi was disliked or feared, it does matter that Rogos were fiery preachers who didn’t care who was after them. The next assassination will still shock us, regardless of whether it happens to someone hated or loved by the mainstream society.
Extrajudicial killings is a slippery slope; it invalidates justice, it invalidates the need for prosecutors and evidence, it invalidates courts and judges, it even invalidates statehood. There’s no need for institutions of state if the state cannot offer justice to its errant citizens.
You can celebrate the felling of a “suspect” but once you do that, you have excluded yourself from ever knowing the truth. You have taken passion for truth. You have become an instrument in the schemes of powerbrokers who abhor any opposition. You have become an animal.
Truth matters, courts matter, judges matter and judgments matter. Where they don’t, human life doesn’t.