A week for the weak
This week has seen so much happen in so little time. Baltimore riots triggered by the aftermath of Freddie Grays arrest and death, my newly launched business facing a court fine and interviews by a new law school and Highest on my list is the Kenyan High courts decision to allow a LGBT association to proceed with registration in the non governmental organizations register. It seems it has indeed been a weak for the weak. Well is it really for them or merely just about them?
The visit to court was yet another reminder at how our young folk are suffering at the hands of the law facing persecution in the implementation of laws that are meant to protect them and not destroy their futures. It has become common place among the police to pick a few young folk who are unwilling to pay bribes and send them to court and set them back five years by making them spend five,six or even twelve months in a cell for defaulting on fines too high for them to even dream of affording. Time, the greatest and most expensive resource, slowly stripped away from them. They are then exposed to the rough world of the four walls of a prison cell and the nature of criminal operations, so that, upon release , they are no longer just traffic offenders, they are hardened criminals . The punitive measure of the laws in the traffic amendments bill 2012 particularly the insertion of section in CAP 403 PART 103B on Helmets and reflectors seems too harsh. While the law was intended to protect lives, a fine for not wearing a reflector jacket on a bright sunny day makes no sense, amendments should have been introduced to accommodate changing times, like periods of rain and poor visibility and darkness particularly 5:00pm to 9:00am should be the only times that is is compulsory to wear a jacket. A helmet on the other side, should be worn at all times.
A lot of boda boda operators cannot afford this fines , and this means, honest young men are sent to prison. An anger was aroused that still has not been settled and in a bid to have this corrected , I hope that consultations with leaders of associations uniting motorcycle operators will assist in the push for more reforms in the sector. The basis on which the argument is made that punitive measures in the law will push civilians to wear the protective gear is not an argument I understand since, the statistics on just how efficient punitive measures are in effecting compliance show quite a contrary effect. Particularly in Kenya,the law is still broken, but it allows for avenues that let the police bully the civilians, who in fear of prosecution whether just or unjust are more than willing to pay a bribe and have it all go away.
I propose a pilot program that provides for civilian and road user education plus channels for legal warnings that will push for compliance because, the basis of law making on traffic regulations is meant to protect and not persecute. After this experience, I wont lie that anger did not run deep, and If i could, I would have organized a "mass protest" . However from observation of precedence , no good would come from that.
Persecution of the LGBT community also really makes my blood churn. These so called "christian leaders" , on the fore front of this persecution of people they perceive to be "sinners" makes me feel like indeed no lesson was learned from their Master and Mentor, Jesus , who prevented the stoning of an adulterous woman. The man that sat with tax collectors and all manner of men seen to be sinners. They cry at the persecution of Christians in Muslim states and then persecute others in their own corridors. Hypocrites I may call some of them , whose churches are flooded with scandals of immoral acts and manipulation or vulnerable persons. Just because one does not think it is morally right does not mean that a man should be sent behind bars. If gays are to be sent to prison so should adulterers, liars, and all the rest of those "faithfuls" May God remember mercy when dealing with this men,because the number of souls their actions have sent away from the house of God has soiled their hands with the blood of innocents.
But I sympathise with this leaders because I find it so hard to believe that , their character is fully embodied by this single action. I refuse to believe that because they have in many ways reminded others of their obligations of love to one another, to care for the sick and lift up the poor. I mean, they lead churches that serve the community by doing God's work on earth. I remember that they are but men, containing all the contradictions that are in most of us, the good and the bad. For that, while I condemn this step they have taken, and emplore them to let God who is Able to fight his own battles, I remember that there is time for more thought on the issue , and hope that the wisdom begotten off of experience will give them guidance on how to better address this issue.
As for freddie Gray, my initial reaction was even more anger. I was angry that , the riots and looting and misdirected anger of the society towards the police had left the state of Baltimore in chaos. Angry because , everyone has a reason to be angry at the government, but that does not give everyone a right to dash off and loot and riot. Then let the whole world descend into chaos because we have all our perceptions of entitlement to justice which our governments have not afforded us. I however could not forget words from my mentor Barack Obama, that, " the anger is real; it is powerful; and to simply wish it away, to condemn it without understanding its roots, only serves to widen the chasm of misunderstanding that exists between the races. " I may never understand their anger because I have never experienced it, my scope of racial injustice , cannot compare to their many years of experiences. May justice be found for Freddie Gray. Indeed this has been a week for the weak.