Truth shall set us free, but whose truth is it?
By Peter Kimani
I was hoping against hope that someone might protest against another grey-haired man being appointed to head the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) then I remembered almost all of them had reversed their shocks of white to grey.
So given the falsity displayed by our political leadership on very personal matters, it is truly refreshing that retired diplomat Bethuel Kiplagat, an old man with the hair to match, is at the helm of this new outfit.
Without belabouring the point, the craving for a forum where the criminal elements among us raise our antennas that these politicians are up to no good.
Why, confession as a form of redemption can only be meaningful if the perpetrators of those unlawful acts do not derive any benefit from their wrongdoing.
Kenyans shouldn’t hold their breath waiting for someone to step forward to claim responsibility for the assassinations that left this country scarred.
Terrorists who blow themselves up to make a political point often claim responsibility because they are often willing, and are prepared, to suffer the consequences.
Kenya’s political terrorism is unparalleled. More often than not, assassinations are expedient, rather than ideological, orchestrated to get rid of those perceived as standing in their way of prosperity.
So if a man kills to take another’s wife, would his renunciation of violence, or even the owning up of the heinous crime, preclude further prosecution and possible persecution?
Did someone ask what would be the role of the woman in all this?
That’s a good question but before we go there, we need to extrapolate the Kenyan political animal: stomach constipated with public funds, and given to lying even when there is no benefit to.
These two positions have a bearing on the quality of confessions we are likely to receive at TJRC. A constipated being would have little use for food, and pathological liars do not differentiate between lies and truth.
And even if we were to introduce lie-detectors, new thresholds would be needed for the Kenyan audience.
The high-profiled assassinations, from Tom Mboya in 1969 to JM Kariuki in 1975 and Robert Ouko in 1990, would obviously be a point of interest.
And as Justice minister Mutula Kilonzo reckons, the difficulty in fighting impunity stems from the fact that those exposing it are part of it.
Hence my fascination with grey hairs dyed black. The last time I caught one old man in the act, eyes shut to prevent the black stuff from dripping into the eye, he looked every inch a fat cat having its fur painted.
Hopefully, there is no plan to white wash politicians’ lies at the TJRC, unless it helps show their true colours.
Mwakwere’s doing his work
Chirau Ali Mwakwere is a sensitive and sensible politician who knows when to speak, if mostly out of turn and out of tune.
So when 22 people died on Wednesday night, he addressed the media to announce a raft of measures he believes should help reduce the carnage on our roads.
That’s very thoughtful of him, only that if one questions the timing (why was that not implemented last week, for instance?), he is likely to rush to court to sue, possibly to seek damages because he has been cast in a light that insinuates incompetence.
But nothing could be further from the truth. Mwakwere is a very able minister, judging his past successes.
His greatest success at the Transport ministry, for instance, speaks for itself. He disregarded the roadside declarations by former Transport Minister John Michuki, to allow the rule of law. And this week, we got a taste of its outcome.
Those intent on defaming Mwakwere by suggesting the accident has something to do with the management of the Transport ministry better be reminded all he’s doing is formulate policy, as he did this week.
Anti-terror police arrest Canadian citizenAnti-terrorist police in Nairobi are holding a Canadian tourist they claim was found taking pictures of a Kenyan border town on Monday.
When Njonjo almost resigned over coffee smugglersKnown as the era of black gold, it began in 1976 when Ugandan farmers decided to sell their coffee in the private market.
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