Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Quote of the day
Warriors in Africa get cows, but heroes get everything. ~ Jared Ombui

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posted by ombui at 9:54 AM | Permalink | 0 comments
Quote of the day
...if your eyes fail, please use your ears. If both fail, try feeling. ~Jared Ombui

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Saturday, March 13, 2010
Quote of the day
a good smile is not when it is only on your face, but when it is reflected on others ~ Jared Ombui

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posted by ombui at 10:52 PM | Permalink | 0 comments
Quote of the week
...A wise man never knows that he is wise, but a foolish one knows he is foolish~ Jared Ombui

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Wednesday, March 03, 2010
Mob justice: Who are you?

It is long before I wrote about my neighbourhood, but here it comes with a connotation “who are you?”

I woke up and the world was getting wetter. A peep on the window was proof it has been drizzling all night into the morning. Water made mini-lakes between my block, and pink and green painted adjacent flat sitting on a swamp. Passersby held up umbrellas, wore rain-coats or jackets of various colours and boots. I didn’t bother if the meteorologists call it El Nino; after all they have been wrong for a year that I have lived in this city, Nairobi.

A day off work means relaxing and exploring.

I went down stares after a quick shower and teeth brushing to check a brother to a friend. I chose to watch multiple documentaries on gangs by Ross Kemp, a Sky TV reporter; all from London, Kenya, Bolivia, Belize just to mention but a few. Documentaries, or in-depth programmes and books make my early morning compared to movies that would probably be a lazy way to start a day.

Three hours later noise within the block brought us out. Women were standing far and watched with awe as a man, a suspected thief was being hit. Be it kicks and punches, or use of objects, they were random. You might think he (suspected thief) was a boxing punching bag, or he felt no pain.

He was ordered to strip. He began with his torn brown shoes and blue socks; then his silky grey shirt; an old black trouser; lastly a valentine-red boxer that had darken by dirt. Later he was pushed to sit on a cold stare on first floor as deterrence from taking off. The custodian perused through his wallet to get possible identification.

He looked shocked and disturbed to show his light skinned and slender body, and haired on the chest and legs.

Two men passed by us, and went up stares to join others that were spanking the man. They looked like masons, “they must be from a construction a few meters from here,” a lady standing near us whispered. They seemed charged to end thievery. They constantly hit the suspect until he started yelling for help.

“Uuuiii!! Uuuiii!! Please help me. Please don’t let me die,” the suspect pleaded.

“Be silent!! Be silent!! You are the people who disturb peace. Why don’t you work to get what you need?” the muscular and mean looking mason shouted with choked anger.

“Get a tyre and petrol. He needs to be taught a lesson…” The men beating the suspect said consecutively.

The custodian sensed that if the suspect is killed at his block it would have serious legal repercussion. He convinced the aggressors, that it was noble to take the suspect to the nearby police station.

He (suspect) hurriedly wore a boxer just to escape embarrassment from the women around. His clothes were thrown at him, and fell. As he bended to pick them, drops of blood from an injury hit the floor. Even before he rose to walk, he got a kick, “lead the way!” an aggressor shouted.

In less than a minute the suspect was a head while almost a dozen of men hurriedly matched behind him and spoke Kikuyu.

“What is your tribe?” One of the masons slapped him as he asked the suspect.

“I am a Kamba,” he answered fearfully.

“But you had said that you are a Kikuyu!” one of the beaters exclaimed.

The aggressors didn’t care about the injuries and the dripping blood. The suspect held tight a paper bag full of stuff plus his clothes.

In the evening, the custodian informed me that the suspect is in a Police cell.

This incident is typically a mob justice that isn’t shocking in Kenya. Reasons for this are vast; some say the judiciary and the police serve injustice, others feel the public is uninformed of the law that govern the land, but others think the streets convey justice. All these are debatable.

A part from mob justice being inhumane, a tribe question sent me thinking. What if the suspect was a Luhya, Mijikenda or Turkana? Does it mean he would have met his death immediately?

Who are you? Does it matter? How can it be used for good, than bad?

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