It’s time to shift our public consciousness
SEE ALSO :Kimemia calls meet to address stand-offPerhaps the Judiciary could consider announcing new judicial policy and practice guidelines for pre-trial and trial processes, sentencing, asset freezing and recovery. Is it time to shake up the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) and free it from the allegations that it too, has been captured by state and cartel interests. Perhaps Law Society of Kenya members should demand of all interested in a JSC seat to declare that they will not practice at the same time and avoid the conflict of interest we have seen in the past. Judge Nyakundi made an important judgement this week. He ordered six police officers to personally pay 19 citizens Sh7.8 million for unlawfully arresting and detaining them. Imagine if all public, private and not for profit organisations followed this lead and routinely surcharged all who abuse agency resources. The conference comes in the wake of the reorganisation of the National Police Service. Perhaps the Service could use this moment to declare new radical strategies that can lift it from the bottom of those embarrassing Transparency International and EACC ratings. Like chickens coming home to roost, civil society causes like #AfyaHouseScandal, #WarioMustGo and #RedcardKE have finally yielded public prosecutions. Ironically, the influence of CSOs has shrunk almost as much as the court cases have grown. Hammered by an autocratic state in the past, reduced foreign funding and limited public support, CSOs seem quieter and increasingly helpless. In line with President Kenyatta’s appeal to CSOs for help on Jamhuri day, is it time to re-energise the sector by pressing for a new policy framework, funding and the commencement of the Public Benefits Organisations Act? The national conference will find the political class in disarray and desperately trying to arrange the chairs of power ahead of 2022. The fundamental question of whether the next generation of leaders will operate from an ethical or predatory mindset is at the heart of their contest. While getting the right individuals matter, it also matters how the parties will control greedy mindsets in future. Besides the politicians, pop singers, priests and public relations experts also have the capacity to shift our public consciousness. They too must come and propose new strategies to change public behaviour. Only then will our very fishy personal interest evolve into a national culture informed by humility and the public interest.