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Don't be duped, nobody was converted by Pangani police cells experience

By Alexander Chagema | June 23rd 2016

There is a troupe of legislators I wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot pole unless my life depended on it. They ooze ethnic venom. Their utterances are fractious and contagious, yet they have the gall to claim the mantle of national leadership.

They would as easily ask their adherents to chop off your ears as announce the setting up of a peace caravan.

Think of rattle snakes, think of smoothies and you got them all in one package; all the more reason why talk of a peace caravan is such flapdoodle, a sick joke.

Last week at the Walt Disney World resort in the US, a seemingly docile crocodile snatched a two-year-old little boy from his parents hands when they least expected that could happen.

And when a crocodile clamps its jaws on anything, it remains there.

I shudder at the torment those parents went through, seeing their little boy dismembered by a crocodile as they looked on helplessly.

That experience will haunt them for the rest of their lives because the ‘what if’ rationalization will naturally kick in. They will blame themselves.

Sad though it was, I mentally transpose the unfortunate incident with that of guileless, easily excitable Kenyans looking at and cheering their war-mongering leaders, oblivious of the powerful yawning jaws that could clamp down on them any time, and I shudder again.

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If it tickles your fancy, call me skeptical, the doubting Thomas, but no stretch of imagination can convince me that between parliament and the Pangani police cells, a bolt of lightning occurred.

There was no re-enactment of the biblical ‘road to Damascus’ narrative (Acts 9) where a hate-filled Saul was struck blind only to regain his sight as Paul, and completely transformed. Our legislators are utterly incorrigible.

Despite all the pretexts to the contrary, Jubilee or Cord, they always stick together like a bunch of bananas. Do I have to add bananas are crooked?

They could afford to laugh about their experiences in the cells; regaling us with tales of how clever they were, sharing one shoe while visiting the loos.

How, like common criminals, they smuggled money and a phone into the police cell and together planned a common defence when they would be taken to court.

Together, they looked to the indefatigable Raila Odinga for salvation, and damned if Moses Kuria did not wring a free sumptuous fish meal from ‘baba’ as they grinned at each other across the dining table.

And while this goes on, some poor folks in God-forsaken tenements, if you can call them that, are not only hungry, but nursing wounds because a hapless leader asked them to fight.

So the police cells stink and are in deplorable conditions? Big deal! And because it will suit them, the legislators promised to table a motion in parliament to improve the conditions in the cells, perhaps in readiness for when they go back, as surely some will.

Thus moved by the MPs suffering was Internal Security Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaiserry that he visited two police cells in Narok, agreed the conditions were inhuman and even promised to visit Pangani to apprise himself of the conditions there.

If that minor inconvenience so moved our legislators, how about selecting a handful, confining each to a shared hospital bed with a person suffering whooping cough on one side and another with open, suppurating wounds on the other side?

How about getting some of the legislators to attend their beloved retreats in Lodwar under the scorching sun, sitting on uneven stones for hours on end to allow them appreciate why they should build schools, buy desks, medication and enough beds for our hospitals?

Better still, we could lock a few in some of the Industrial area factories overnight, and God help them if a fire breaks out, to appreciate the deplorable dehumanising conditions millions of Kenyans work under day in day out.

Peace caravans are targeting amnesty.

They are a pathetic attempt at evading justice. These fellows know there is a possibility they could be barred from participating in next year’s elections if guilt is established.

They aim to pull the wool over our eyes with their phony salvation. If truly the police, the cohesion commission and the courts have grown muscle and teeth, some of these disgraceful leaders should be gracing our prisons, and believe me, they will stop at nothing to navigate round this obstacle.

Yes, it is a little too late in the day to straighten dried timber. And knowing, as I do, that you cannot bend dried fish; do Kenyans have to be duped?

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