Let’s value moral over legal considerations
Kenya has become a country of court intervention on nearly every matter. Lawyers would have us believe that the country is safest when it adheres only to the rule of law.
A rule of law, if the recent Law Society of Kenya impasse on the Judiciary is anything to go by, that shows even lawyers do not agree on how it looks or feels like.
How can lawyers, and apparently a judge, conclude that one does not need vetting to become part of the JSC? The JSC, mind you, is the body charged with making sure judges deliver impartially.
That means the JSC must have more veneration than the papacy. Yet we want to perpetuate the fallacy that any member of LSK can become part of the JSC with no vetting needed.
If that be the case, then we might as well forget the rule of law; because I assure you those who sit there determine how justice turns, and soon justice will be auctioned.
In fact, one grand lawyer alluded on twitter recently that a gubernatorial petition was won on the basis of a bidding process gone awry.
What is the justification for these actions? The answer from all lawyers is one: the law. But I would like to remind the learned friends that what is legal is not necessarily what is moral. And morality is and will always be the higher principle in human life. In fact, society is safer with a moral code than it is with a legal one.
Countries led by moral codes such as Japan suffer less corruption and derive more public good than does a country like Kenya with our immoral yet legal actions.
You see, in Kenya it is legal to go to court and get an order that says you should not be investigated, or that Kenya Revenue Authority should give you a tax compliance certificate while the DCI is investigating you for money laundering.
These are indeed legal but they are immoral and are only brought about by the incestous relationship between the judiciary and the legal fraternity.
In Kenya it is perfectly legal, apparently for lawyers, to help one hide the benefits of corruption. It is no big deal for a lawyer to grow fat from the plunder and pillaging of a nation because they will hide under the law called client-attorney privilege. In all these instances you can see what is legal is not necessarily what is moral.
If Kenya continues down this path our country will be plundered dry and all of it will be legal. The corrupt will invest in lawyers, lawyers will hide under the rule of law and we will be left holding dust instead of dreams of a great nation.
The immorality that we see displayed in our legal fraternity is also in our legislature where when they implemented chapter 6 of the constitution, they decided that self-declaration was enough.
As such, all one needs to do is declare like musician shaggy “it wasn’t me” and IEBC is compelled to accept that as the gospel truth. At the same time they made sure that recalling any leader is impossible without Wanjiku bending over backwards and pulling a miracle. As such they made an immorality legal.
Even worse, our political class remains firmly in office when they are under criminal charge, while legally blind and even when seriously ill. They don’t for a second wonder how their clinging to power affects Wanjiku, Nekesa, Atieno and Moraa. Their goal is to stay in office no matter what till death do them part. Indeed all this is legal but it is completely immoral.
As a nation, we must understand that it is legal to marry an 18 year old when you are 60, but it is completely immoral. We must begin to copy nations like Japan and much of Europe where leaders follow a moral code before they follow a legal one.
Strauss Kahn famously stopped his presidential ambitions over a false allegation by a woman in another continent.
Yet in Kenya our leaders remain in office even when the accusations are true. A minister of transport in South Korea resigns when a vessel drowns, while in Kenya ministers tell us to go to hell when things go wrong.
America is learning the value of morality. For we all know if Trump was moral, America would not be wasting money building a wall for immigrants that are experts at digging holes, and neither would Russia have the upper hand in their war of supremacy.
America would not be today fighting the spectre of racial tensions and they would certainly not be dealing with a president who lies, who cares little for the environment and who would see the world burn before he loses a dollar.
Trump, in refusing to give them his tax returns, gave the Americans a sign of his immorality; It was not an illegality, but it was an immorality Americans ignored to their own chagrin and Kenya is headed the same route.
The law is indeed an ass, but let us not make donkeys of ourselves by thinking the law will save us from the immoral filth in which we dwell. We must embrace morality and ethics as the bedrock of leadership if Kenya is to have a chance at prosperity.
Mr Bichachi is a communication consultant. [email protected]
MoralityLaw Society of KenyaJudiciary