IMPUNITY IN KENYA: ‘’MY BOSSES SET ME ON FIRE, SAYS DRIVER’’

A very graphic and disturbing video clip has surfaced online and in various dailies in the Kenyan media of a man that claims to have been set on fire by his bosses after being accused of stealing! You can watch this clip here… http://www.nation.co.ke/news/My-bosses-set-me-on-fire-says-truck-driver/-/1056/3155210/-/15o5xlcz/-/index.html. The same story is appearing in today’s Daily Nation page 9 ( April 12th 2016).

Stealing by any standard is wrong and unlawful, the Kenyan law criminalizes theft. The same law also provides how people caught or suspected of stealing like in this case should be treated. Kenya is a country run by the rule of law…NOT anything else. The presumption of innocence until proven guilty is a fundamental human right issue and is meant to avoid lynch mob like exhibited in this incidence.

I must say that the only information I have on this matter is purely what I have read and seen from the media but in my view this is enough to allow me ventilate. While I thank the person that took the video that has now surfaced online, I am at a loss trying to fathom how people just stood there as the alleged person set the driver on fire….have we been watching enough horror movies that much or the hopelessness, poverty, corruption and the state of unemployment has pushed us that far? One person is overheard in the clip asking….”why did you burn him? He has not killed anyone. Why have you taken the law into your hands?…this was a nice attempt at protesting the injustice upon which the perpetrator responded…. Yes, we have burnt him and taken the law into our hands, so what will you do about it? This is impunity reloaded and shows how the rich, powerful and the mighty rules this country with impunity. I can assure you that if this man knew he could not get away with it, he could not dare utter such words but trust me, this is Kenya…the man is still out there enjoying his life and probably continuing to torture other suspects!

I can guess how this will go: the police will now swing into action to appease the public anger generated by this issue surfacing in the media, Kenyans online will protest a bit but even in that protest a tribal angle will come in as some argue tribe A or B is used to stealing and blah blah….this will go on for a maximum two weeks and be forgotten…and we will move on until something worse comes up….that is the story of how shallow we have become as a country.

I don’t care that this man stole…… I care that the law was not followed as it should. The law knew that thieves will always be in our societies and therefore provided how they should be handled.

In the same paper ( Daily Nation of April 12th, 2016 page 12) is another small item…Residents kill men mistaken for thieves in horror scene… same script as the other one but at least in this one a suspect has been arrested to face murder charges. Yes I know my boss means a lot to me because he or she pays me a salary, which in any case is my right because I have worked for it: it is not a donation! That does not make my boss to be above the law. The so called bosses that burnt this alleged thief must really be held accountable and face the law. It really worries me that other employees watched all this and kept mum for fear of loosing their jobs….I can not blame them so much but I am sure not I want to absolve them from the blame either. But credit to them, they grabbed a fire extinguisher and put off the fire that was already consuming the man’s clothing.

This is indeed not how to conduct our affairs in Kenya….something must be done for sure.

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