By Hassan Omar Hassan
They rode and strode the heights and widths of their nations. Unto them was unbridled power and kingly prestige. They were feared and revered. They were honoured and exalted. With their families and friends they ruled the underprivileged.
They disenfranchised ‘their’ people. They humiliated and violated the poor and weak. They were shrouded in arrogance, clouded from reality. They monopolised the State, they personalised it, ethnicised it and nepotised it. They stole from the people. They drank and ate from the blood and the sweat of the poor.
When their end came, they couldn’t see it. Woe unto them. They are the likes of former Liberian president Charles Taylor jailed for 50 years by the Special Court for Sierra Leone, former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak sentenced to life imprisonment by an Egyptian Court and former Tunisian president Ben Ali in exile in Saudi Arabia and facing a death sentence in Tunisia.
Do you also recall how former Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi was forced out of power and mobbed to death by his peasant revolutionary countrymen? There is a limit to how far and how long you can suppress a people. There is always an end. The end is usually uninvited. The end in Kenya has crossed over the horizon.
It is in sight and at reach. Never again shall we allow the plunder of this nation. We must conquer and proclaim victory against tyranny, ethnicity, corruption and impunity. We must usher in fundamental reforms.
Kenya’s political elite is conscious of the crystallising global trend. Impunity is being punished severely. When you abuse the sacred trust of State power and violate a people, you become a worried soul. Don’t be duped by the smiles, public bravados and the pretence to high strategy.
When you repeatedly see reports that State House operatives and the National Security Intelligence Service are involved in the formation of a political party, then there’s cause for the people to galvanise. The Standard On Saturday yesterday revealed the objects of this maneuvering.
To influence a transfer of power to someone who “owes them politically”. In political or direct terms, one who offers ‘them’ an avenue of continuity for their misrule and protection for their transgressions.
As these cowardly political maneuverings takes hold, there is need for a response and a political offensive. In my column last week, I asked the gallant warriors of the reformist frontlines to step forward. I pointed out the need for a reformist coalition. There are many men and women who touched our conscience and inspired our reformist discourse. They remain the conscience of the nation. They must roll up their sleeves. They must get involved and take charge. I call you to ‘action’.
Yash Ghai, Pheroze Nowrojee, Paul Muite, James Orengo, Raila Odinga, Gitobu Imanyara, Kilemi Mwiria, Reverend Timothy Njoya, Archbishop David Gitari, Alamin Mazrui, Wafula Buke, Mukami Kimathi, Tirop Kitur, Njeri Kabeberi, Khalid Balala, Wahu Kaara, Oduor Ong’wen, Ann Njogu, Achoka Awori, Njonjo Mue, Mwangi Waithaka, Kepta Ombati, Cyprian Nyamwamu, Ndung’u Wainaina, Mwalimu Mati, Davinder Lamba, Betty Ndomo, Jill Ghai, Zahid Rajan, Jane Mati, Khelef Khalifa, Ngunjiri Wambugu, Alamin Kimathi, Hussein Khalid, Prof Karuti Kanyinga, Sheikh Munir Mazrui, Kamanda Mucheke, Maina Kiai, Binaifer Nowrojee, Dancan Okello, Rumba Kinuthia, Sarah Elderkin, Mwandawiro Mghanga, Zarina Patel, Mwashengu wa Mwachofi, David Makali, Kenneth Matiba, Richard Leakey, Gladwell Otieno, Onyango Oloo, Mugambi Kiai, Salim Lone, Odhiambo Oyoko, Gitu wa Kahengeri, Abubakr Zein, John Githongo and many good people who the limit of my column cannot allow me to list.
The writer is a lawyer and former commissioner with the KNCHR