Skip to main content

When none of your business becomes your business

Martha Karua, one of our most hyped politicians, was in the news again. This time round, it appears her god-like status is now fading as quickly as it came up. Some of her constituents were demonstrating against her; odd it was that they were motor-cycle taxi men, not demonstrating against her motor cycle policies, but against her so called support for the mungiki. It is odd, since the activities of the mungiki do not affect cyclists alone, but the constituency as a whole. This had reeked a strong oduor of hired demonstrators, as she claims.

As for the demonstrators and the planners, they appeared to have made a judgemental error when they claimed that their MP was supporting the mungiki. Martha Karua, been a sensible person and a lawyer, has been against the stance that the government is taking against the mungiki, by allowing other so called vigilante groups to hunt for mungiki and kill them. Been against this method, does not mean that you support the mungiki;the two aren't, mutually exclusive.

The government organs in the area are quite happy that someone is taking care of the mungiki on their behalf, by murdering suspects. The problem is that the people been murdered are suspects; according to my understanding of this noun, a suspect may either be guilty or innocent.

You may wonder why Martha Karua is making this part of her many business, while she can simply ignore the issue since it appears like the issue is to the benefit of all.

Well, appearances may be deceptive.Take a careful look at the history of the issue. The government was the sole authority, but had many shortcomings. Then a group of people bridged the gap, and started providing security services. No one questioned this, since it was none of their business; the arrangement appeared beneficial to all. As the group grew, it began to demand for more income , and went out of hand by holding lives as collateral. at this point, it became their business, since their lives were at stake.

Now some so called vigilante groups have rose to bridge the government failures again. Again, for the people whose families are not mungiki suspects, it is none of their business. The government officials in the area are covering up their bare bottoms by labelling critics as mungiki supporters. How long will it be before the vigilante groups begin trying other suspects other than the mungiki? Isnt' this the familar route that mungiki trode? At this point, it will no longer be Martha's business alone. I also hope that the vigilante groups have powers to bring wrongly killed innocent suspects back to life.

The same has happened in the Pakistan Swat valley. Due to government failures, the mungiki equivalent, a strongly armed Taliban took hold of the area. Since they were just restoring order, it was none of the residents business. Then the Taliban were pushed out of Afghanistan by a more aggressive United States army. Seeing Pakistan as a softer opponent, they began expanding out of their traditional remote enclaves, putting them in direct confrontation with the Pakistani army. the Pakistani army launched a counter offensive in the area, displacing many residents. To the residents , it was the government versus the Taliban, still none of their business. When the Taliban are a war, they tend to attack mosques that belong to other moderate Muslim faith, and attack they did. It is at this point that the Taliban became part of the business of the residents of swat valley. They have now taken up arms against the Taliban, and the government is supporting them from aerial attacks.

Point here is that when it comes to human rights and security, it will be just a matter of time before what affects others becomes your business. Ignore it at your own peril. As for the government, what matters is winning the battle, not the war. You might perish in the battle, but the government will outlive the battle and usually outlives the war too.

What is your business today?

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The bitter story of the downfall of Mumias Sugar company

Have you heard the bitter story of Mumias Sugar?

Regarded by many as Kenya's most successful sugar miller, Mumias Sugar Company was a disaster waiting to happen.

Many pointed out how Mumias Sugar Company was a fortress in the wreck that is Kenya's sugar industry, only unaware that it was just a matter of time. As the old wise men said, "Ukiona cha mwenzako cha nyolewa, tia chako maji".

The proverb means that if you see your neighbour's head getting shaved, your head will soon be undergoing the same - you'd therefore better wet your head for a smoother shave, otherwise you will be forced to undergo a painful, dry, shave.

But what ails Kenya's sugar industry?

The Kenya sugar industry is under legal siege. The typical Kenyan issue of coming up with laws to tackle a problem is evident here.

Many of Kenya's sugar factories are owned by the government, and have slowly declined under mismanagement and corruption. The appointing of political cronies and trib…

Coronavirus still proves Africa's Local Manufacturing Problem

For many people in Africa, more so Sub-Saharan Africa, local manufacturing is a concept we are very much in love with. We wish that our countries manufactured 90 percent of what we used locally, and by doing so, our feeling is that our countries would become developed countries.


Of course, manufacturing 90% of all locally consumed products means we would only import 10%. Early in school, we are taught that 1+3=4, and likewise 4-3=1.

Equally, if by manufacturing 90% locally means that we import very little, then the assumption is that importing very little means we manufacture a lot locally. And so, many people call for the banning of imports to promote local manufacturing.

Most governments understand that banning imports is hard, and so what they do is raise taxes on them. But interesting enough, raising taxes on imports does not lead to increased local manufacturing. Instead, it leads to a decrease in local manufacturing.

In 1981, manufacturing contributed to a quarter of sub-Sa…

Why we loved Mixcrate and Where to next?

There are two types of music listeners: those who listen by artist or by album, and those who listen by top hits. The second lot of us do not care much about what other music made it to an album besides the top 2 hits.

Mixcrate served the second lot of us very well. You could search for a song title or an artist, and you would have dozens of DJ mixes to choose from which contained more than the one hit you searched for.

Listening to music on Mixcrate also meant that once you settled into a mix, you had uninterrupted music for the next one hour.

Kenyan products: The art of punishing your consumer

This post was written in 2011. Facts may have and indeed have changed - but the conclusion has not. 
Peanut butter used to taste so good, but you could not afford it on the pocket money that you got back in school.

A few years later, you have your first real job and your first "disposable" income. You buy your first real tub of peanut butter, probably the first in your life. You feel proud that Dominion peanut butter is manufactured in Ruiru, a town that you visited in your campus days to withdraw your pocket money, it was the nearest bank ATM to your campus. 
This was before Equity bank became a mainstream bank and decided to open an ATM in your campus, and before M-Pesa meant that you could withdraw your pocket money next to the kibanda where you had your one meal of the day.
The peanut butter though is a far cry from the peanut butter you remember. It does not taste that good, and turns into some sort of stone barely third way through the jar. The stone is not the kind that …

Why are Mosquitoes Found in Some Parts of Nairobi?

Ever wondered why some places in Nairobi are mosquito prone, while others are not?
There's popular folk-lore that Nairobi was established a settlement because it's altitude, or height above sea level, is above that preferred by mosquitoes. But this proposition quickly runs into headwinds as much of Eastlands, including JKIA, the country's main airport (long pun coming) are frequented by mosquitoes. 
So, I got an expert from the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) to clear some air on this buzzy issue. 
Here is what Professor Clifford Mutero of ICIPE had to say: