By Hassan Omar Hassan
I support the idea of public servants writing memoirs. It gives us an insight into the inner workings of power. The intrigues that impact and influence the decisions that affect our lives. A few good memoirs have been written. I wish we had more.
It provides a historical record of the various accounts that the public would wish to have a deeper insight to. But Kenyan public officials, former and present are not quite into the idea of writing. Equally as a nation, we have not quite developed a reading culture.
I too considered writing an account of my eventful five-year stint at the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR). In fact, all my colleagues were quite aware of my desire to document my experiences at the KNCHR.
I kept records, a day-to-day chronology of events and the defining moments.
I filed the necessary correspondences, printed all relevant emails among a host of other things. I had wished to shed further light on the major events that shaped the commission and me.
As I developed the conceptual outline of my book, I had several discussions with an array of media practitioners, writers, friends and colleagues. I also had several interactions with journalist Caleb Atemi.
I was decided that Mr Atemi was the best man to partner with on the project.
A couple of institutions had expressed their willingness to support it. A wide array of input I got pointed out to the need for an objective and accurate account.
I aspired to do a high quality job. I required a functional office with researchers, good writers, and editors. Support for this was forthcoming. But what I required most appeared unavailable.
Time! I was already immersed in my senatorial campaigns and time was scarce. I ‘stayed’ the project to avoid compromising on the quality.
I respect Miguna Miguna’s right to write his book. I have all my life aspired for the ideals of human rights. It was unnecessary to hold demonstrations against him or burn his effigy or bury a coffin. We must be tolerant to divergence. I am also of the view that Miguna’s book is simply an opinion, a sleazy collection of rumours and unsubstantiated allegations.
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