Power over truth? The Security Act has been cited in Kenya's history many times to keep voices of dissent silent. This was typical of Moi's rule. The Chief's Act was one of the most notorious pieces of legislation reformed in Constitution 2010. Vigilance is a must.
I last heard the Security Act invoked by the late Michuki John, then the minister for national security at the height of the killings that happened in 2007/2008. At the time post poll violence went unchecked by the national security organs and as history now tells us, security, call it insecurity, was for a time in the hands of a militia group/s.
These were mandated to defend persons of certain ethnic descent against people of another ethnicity, all of them Kenyans, as if there was no police force. Let us say that was not done by anybody we know today. That is power.
I do not think from then Kenya has acknowledged mistakes and reached a level where people can have once again real hope in national security organs particularly the police.
For many young persons were shot from the back with their hands up as they surrendered but every such report was rejected and all pointed fingers at human rights advocates accusing them of complicity with the West, whatever that means. Putin speak.
National security has been abused in many countries to mean curbing the freedom of the people and this is even easier when the anti-terror laws plead for space, saying this is the only way out, the only way to protect the nation. Are the people protected when national security is tightened in this manner on an already threatened society?
Kenya has been involved in renditioning suspects of terror to be tortured in the USA and at home too, there is a complete lack of understanding on that human rights must be protected. There are killings that Phillip Alston reported about when he was a Chief UN investigator.
Can Kenya argue it has national security to tighten right now? Can the president who has already declared that citizens have security in their own hands now sign into law amendments of the constitution that allow for police to storm in check, arrest and invade private space in the name of security?
Kenya's role in helping CIA to arrest and deliver those suspected of terror is already documented. The attendant extrajudicial killings are on record too. Was that a guarantee for national security? Are we not the easiest ones to hit when terrorists begin to move?
What is worse is that it is no longer possible to say that terror attacks in Kenya have not taken a religious dimension. People are asked to recite verses and identify themselves with one religion for safety although in some cases those who thought they were safe still died, especially at Westgate Nairobi. In Mandera, however, it was clear.
Terror must be forestalled without abusing human rights. We cannot become terror to fight terror. If we do, we shall not recognize it. We are not giving up on the rule of law and indeed this is the only way we can hope to overcome. Nobody is underestimating the losses many have incurred and Kenya has borne the brunt of being the country that many would like to use to hit at terror in Eastern Africa.
What happens to Kenya almost every month now, is a clear indication of that. She is a base to reckon with but is she a force that can protect her own or even make them believe that she is out to work for the common good? All too often victims of injustice have lost. It is hard to convince people when power loses moral authority. Some follow and sing the right tune but many others simply cannot.
December 12 is a special day in Kenya. We won our freedom from the British and that day since 1963 has been a special highlight. This year there have been interesting events in Kenya just before this day.
Tonight some Kenyans are celebrating, some Kenyans more than ever since on the 5th of Dec 2014, Uhuru Kenyatta's ICC case was dropped by the International Criminal Court. Even though it was often argued that this was Kenyatta's case as an individual and not president of Kenya, we all know that at the same time he argued that the case was getting in his way as president of Kenya especially with regard to fighting terrorism and protecting Kenya.
However, all Kenyans are worried and this particularly insecurity in the country. The recent killings of 36 quarry workers in Mandera and before that of 28 on a bus from Mandera near the Somali border have shaken every corner of the country and beyond.
Not that there has not been other deaths but this comes after Kenya declared it had killed as many as 100 al Shabaab who claim the Mandera massacres. Since Kenya rounded up all the Somalis in Eastleigh and sent many back to Mogadishu, security and peace was supposed to have improved. But how shall we get there if we are threatening our own freedoms? How with extrajudicial killings?
How if we are so quick to rebuttal any points made by others about our security among many this one from Al Jazeera?
Why is a part of Kenya so happy to keep saying everyone is wrong except those who say that the problems we face can only be curbed by decreasing our freedoms and penalising reform?
Why is the buttressing of impunity supposed to bring us all relief? We cannot shoot to kill without evidence, eliminate so many and celebrate. Inherent contradictions are now gaping wounds. One hears not about this from anyone near power.
So today Kenyans are worried that Freedom of Expression and all that pertains to the Bill of Rights which is incorporated in the nation's constitution are in danger.
However others invest their faith, like Moi only in a man, not in institutions such as the constitution, one man who is the president. Look at how we deal with power even as some in power feign surprise at what Mugabe is doing in Zim with not only total lack of grace, pun intended, but also the assumption that the people will always be under his command. Like KANU of Kenya is said will rule for 100 years.
In Kenya, a new bill to trim rights enshrined in our Constitution has been gazetted in Dec 2014, and this was done fast and only after discussion in one county in the country. This will curb Press Freedom and allow for National Intelligence police to record, document, tap phones, and all that they wish so much so that it boils down to their being allowed to check any "thing" anywhere.
The director of Kenya Chapter of the International Commission of Jurists, George Kegoro said that this cannot be the right direction. But those involved say this is how to get more security and fight terror.
Kenya's Constitution 2010, is under threat. After all just recently none other than Moi, the former president declared that this constitution only came about because of "civil society". Moi came out to support Uhuru Kenyatta who has said that the security of Kenyans depends on each individual and not on state machinery.
He was speaking at the Moi University which celebrated its 30th anniversary. Moi said in answer to civil society pointing out that the government has to take charge of ship out that "They are the same people who crafted the Constitution which is causing problems, particularly insecurity, in the country".
They got what they wanted, Moi feels, now we are in trouble because they go it. Moi said he is right and the story was broadcast countrywide.
Power over truth does not work anywhere and it will not work in Kenya. Recognition of what is the truth is the sun that must rise besides or along with the one that brings tourists to Kenya.
Someone has opened the floodgates and all the mean giants have come out beating their chests in glee. Also crawling out invisibly are many slimy, dark things that sadly connect with misuse of power at so many levels. Corruption levels have left many wild animals dead.
Some Chinese nationals have been arraigned in court for coming in as tourists and setting up an internet intercepting center right in the middle of Nairobi. At that time one might wonder if their 'straying' into the country was due to the fact that police or National Intelligence were not allowed to search persons.
The truth is that other people did this in 1998 and then we had a bomb that took the lives of over 200 people, at the American Embassy. The truth is that in 2013 at Westgate, Nairobi, those who attacked had also come into the country quite freely. It is not about not searching Kenyans in their homes or those already there, it is about so many loopholes at the right level.
And just to say it, whenever Kenyan authorities have wanted to, they have tapped phones and not only searched houses but also shot and killed persons suspected right in front of their families and in the city, and many Kenyans have clapped thinking this way they are defended or at least been cheated so.
What the bill is seeking is to do this with the full backing of the law so that these people called human rights activists and others who bother Kenyans so much might just keep silent.
What is wrong in Kenya today is to say it, to keep saying it. Apparently this stops development of you know who and surely, it must be the reason why the entire world has not achieved the MDGS achieving zero tolerance for illiteracy and women empowerment, mother and child mortality so that people can keep quiet!
A man on TV asked for his identity not to be revealed. His dark silhouette faced a dark horizon. No bird sang. No sound. Only his sorrow filled voice was heard saying. "They say there is no evidence. We ... know... the big names... but who are we?"
We would all have wanted to hear the points put out to our satisfaction to know for ourselves and with clarity who is who in this and what went so horribly wrong in Kenya in 2007/2008 even when we know the roots of deep ethnic strife and cleansing were entrenched in Moi's ways and days.
But Kenyans will pray and shame all devils like those who speak out on human rights. In the meantime the churches, of all types have joined hands with the new laws. They pray and celebrate with the government of the day for the progress achieved so far especially for the victims of injustice.
This is power over truth. I never heard that power set anybody free. It did not Jesus himself. Mujuru Joyce says she worked with Mugabe for years in the same party. She is now accused of planning an assassination and with America... that West.