By Caroline Mutoko
I wasnâ€™t really going to comment on the events we all woke up to on Saturday morning. Why should I? After all, our mission as a people is simple and singular â€” get out the hashtag #RIP (add relevant name) and make it trend, then promptly forget about it and move on to the next hashtag. In fact wait until someone discovers Njoki Chegeâ€™s latest article in the papers and whatâ€™s trending will change in a flash.
I expect politicians to be quick to send condolence messages and condemn the killing of their colleague in the strongest terms. Thatâ€™s kawaida. I also expect the message to sound like a pre-written PR statement, where the names are inserted in the necessary space to allow whichever politician looking for mileage to get it.
What I was not expecting was what I saw on Sunday morning. That MPs were asking for more officers to guard their lives? These people arenâ€™t concerned about rampant insecurity that touches our lives, you and I. They are once again asking an already over-stretched police force to avail more officers to guard their bloated egos. Now, before the Internal Security CS is dragged into making anything so ridiculous happen, allow me to be the first to say this â€” nothing and I mean nothing, can protect you from yourself mheshimiwa.
This story was filed by the Sunday Standard: â€œThree MPs from Kakamega County have asked the government to probe and prosecute the assailants who killed Kabete MP George Muchai. They also appealed to the government to increase their security officers as they are now living in fear for their lives.â€ Lugari MP Ayub Savula said MPs and other leaders are living in fear for their lives and the government should increase their security officers.
The late Muchai had two bodyguards with him and probably an armed driver. That didnâ€™t stop whoever went after him from eliminating those three people and then taking the life of the MP as well.
I also need to add that before we all muddy the waters and scatter all hope of the case ever being pursued properly, letâ€™s call the incident what it is. It was murder. This isnâ€™t a case of random thugs roaming the streets, picking on helpless unsuspecting citizens to rob and kill. This was murder. It seems (I canâ€™t draw conclusions) to have been planned with fore-sight and executed with flair. The reason I must insist that we call the incident by its frightful name is that the special class of citizens known as MPs, who now believe they must be accorded a battalion of officers to guard them, must be asked to consider a nasty and painful reality. Who wants you dead? More importantly, why?
The people who need protection are the teachers in Mandera. MPs simply need to get a grip on reality.
I want to go on record as asking the political class to stop for a moment and take the rose-coloured glasses of prestige and privilege off. Trust me, no number of officers assigned to you can protect you from yourselves. The threat lies within. There are no random Kenyans walking around with guns, with the ability to systematically and methodically take your life. But among yourselves lives the cancer, the plots, the nastiness that makes the very idea of living in Kenya a nightmare for you.
I have seen some misguided souls putting themselves at par with the privileged class asking, “If an MP is not safe, who is?â€ Bure kabisa! Thatâ€™s the point my fellow voter, youâ€™re not safe because Muhesh has more officers assigned to him than just your court in Buruburu. You have no protection, he has more than enough and he wants more. If he gets more, youâ€™ll be stripped of even the two guys who patrol your neighborhood at night on foot no less. Yap, two cops for 5,000 of you.
A word to the wise to the bootlickers and the boot-wearers. This business we engage in of making politicians believe that they are owed life and breathe, that they own this country, that since they make laws they can break them, transforms them into handicapped human beings that are blind to danger, deaf to advice and impervious to common wisdom. Dear bootlicker, you are to blame for the hallucinations and sense of importance your Muhesh lives in. The danger doesnâ€™t lurk out there and it would be at the very least fair, if you told Muhesh as much. In their very minds, in their midst, lies the danger.
It worries me, as it should worry those calling for more officers to guard their bloated egos, that the narration coming from those who witnessed the killings, shows a systematic elimination. First the driver, so he couldnâ€™t gun the engine and drive off. Then the elimination of the bodyguards, so that they couldnâ€™t protect their boss and finally the late Member of Parliament. No-one lived to tell. The circuit is closed. Once again, let me say this boldly â€” this is not the act of a random happy go lucky highway thug looking to rob a motorist. Letâ€™s keep the term â€˜murder’ very central as we tell this story.
We encourage our politicians towards dangerous hallucinations when we continue to allow them to believe that out there somewhere, lurking in the dark, is the assassin. The danger lies within. We are so carefree about the lives of Kenyans at large, that when the demon finally visits our doors, beyond a hashtag and clichÃ© words and phrases such as â€œoutrage, no stone unturned, brought to book, condemn in the strongest terms, etc, etcâ€¦â€ not much is truly done to bring closure and right the wrongs.
I am going to make a lot of people uncomfortable and yet I must because change is found outside your comfort zone. Muhesh, the police force cannot and should not deploy any more officers to guard your ego. Itâ€™s pointless. The truth is no-one can protect you as a collective from yourselves. Mark my words â€” the danger lurks within.