An injustice to one citizen is a blow to justice to all citizens.
Alan Wadi, whose social media sobriquet is Lieutenant Wadi made a post, one post, Â about President Uhuru just after signing the security bill. He made another post about President Uhuru’s ethnic community, the Kikuyu, and generalized whatever sins its elites, currently dominating government and other segments of the Kenyan society, run the affairs of the country.
For the two, posts, he was condemned. Hunted down like a terrorist (we’ll get back to this later), beaten up into submission, Wadi would ‘allegedly’ plead guilty, and was summarily sentenced to two years consecutively, the last year with an option of a bail.
Point is, Wadi has been convicted. This fact, if not appealed, fundamentally changes who he is and how the public will eternally view him. So far, branding him as a hate-monger is ongoing, and the media in Kenya, dominated both in personnel and interests, by members of Wadi’s accusers, are upping the game.
Like many people ideologically resembling him, the passage of security amendment bill (2014), and the attendant chaos which followed it, were seen to be attempts by the jubilee regime to make a law which targeted particular individuals of a certain political persuasion, mostly those supporting CORD.
At its worst, and as observed by a very senior and experienced advocate, Ahmednasir Abdullahi, the law was ethnically targeting members of the a certain community. No wonder, from parliament and outside it, a certain community and their ‘allies’ who Â have been the largest critics of that law.
Contextually therefore, a poisonous environment had been created by actions of the Speaker of Parliament to debate a law in a chaotic parliament broadcasted live to the public, a public which had already taken sides; and sides which followed both a political and ethnic pattern, in most, if not all instances.
Alan Wadi, a young Luo student of political science, was a member of this public. In a series of Facebook posts, Wadi ‘took on’ President Uhuru Kenyatta, accusing him of ruling the country like a person on a hard drug (he singled out bhang) and also added ‘manhood’, as the two factors, rather than the constitution and presidential oath, to assent to Muturi’s dubious bill.
In the same week, in fact, on the same day Wadi was secretly charged in a court, a judge of the high court ruled that several sections of Uhuru’s new law appear to be null and void, and urgently ordered the petition by two organizations – CORD and KNHRC – to challenge them.
However, by the time CORD and KNHRC left the courts, a dubious legal process had taken place on the same building – Milimani law courts – whose results resulted in jailing of the young student who, like CORD and KNHRC, opposed this bad law, and by extension, bad governance in general.
Wadi was arrested in the Ugandan side of the Kenya-Uganda border. His phone and other particulars were immediately confiscated and he was driven, by 12 police officers drawn from several police units, in a convoy of four vehicles, to Nairobi.
This was on 31st. On social media, bloggers from State house ‘revealed’ sheepishly, this new development. Why statehouse followed this case; why it was concerned, could only be revealed as the complainant, it turned out, was the President of the Republic of Kenya, through a number of government agencies and commissions, particularly, the National Cohesion and Integration Commission.
Wadi was moved to several police stations between 31st and 2nd, during which he was allegedly tortured, threatened and directed to plead to the charges which, under these circumstances, when he became unsure of whether he would live or die, he did.
The torture on Wadi did not begin at Nairobi.
Throughout the journey, blindfolded and assaulted, he was severally informed his time was up. He was to be killed. In fact, sources at the time of his arrest reveal that had it not been that he was picked from Ugandan authorities (who refused to play ball), the plan was to assassinate him in Uganda and let him ‘disappear’, but then there was a little problem, both sides were unsure of Wadi’s nationality, which correctly turned out to be Kenyan (by naturalization) by Ugandan (by birth).
Wadi was sentenced without being accorded legal representation. And Wadi was coerced into submitting an offence he may not have committed.
In the foregoing conditions, it is only fair that this student-blogger be retried, and accorded the rights that all accused persons, including the President himself, have in the past enjoyed. Â A petition is already going on and concerned citizens, growing everyday, want a retrial of Alan Wadi.
At Athi River Prison where he was admitted, instructions have been given to prison official not to allow any contact between Wadi and the outside world. The only conclusion one arrives at is that the government is hiding the truth from coming out.
Wadi was tortured, and his family has indicated they want him to undergo medical tests. This was a clear case of a mistrial and there is need to expose it and publicize it for it is just the first such cases, no one is sure if it will not recur.