By Baraka Sudi
Hon. Muchai was not just another man occupying space and waiting for what fate had in store for him. He was a known trade unionist and a parliamentary representative of one of the richest constituencies in Kenya.
There is, therefore, no blinking of the fact that his death was as untimely as it was cruel. At this time, condolences to his family and that of his aides who went down with him are in order.
More importantly, like for all families whose loved ones have died in similar circumstances, next to condolences is justice â€“ that peculiar human satisfaction that things have evened out. In this regard, a rather disturbing development has been taking place in the media.
Yes, everything should be done to unearth those behind this crime. But for some media outlets to attempt convincing the public, even indirectly, that some known personalities are behind the death is complete baloney. Either out of malice or over eagerness to be on top of the Muchai story, these media houses have taken upon themselves to air some obscure recording by the slain MP accusing top COTU officials of plotting to reduce his height by a head.
The recording has been raised to a level of authority as to make it the only significant piece of evidence worth considering. Such circumstantial evidence is only important as far as identifying areas for further investigations is concerned and not as proof of guilt on the part of those mentioned in it.
As far as legal weight is concerned, circumstantial evidence is similar to that medieval principle of jurisprudence that was used to put Allan Wadi behind bars- confession of the accused.
To try and use such recording to indirectly accuse Francis Atwoli and some other top COTU officials as somehow responsible for Muchaiâ€™s gruesome demise is nothing short of claptrap.
From the outset, let me declare that I hold no brief for Atwoli. In fact, Iâ€™m one of those people who have an exceedingly low measure of the man. Even after being in public limelight for almost a score, there is no visible sharp corner in his personality. Mukhisa Kituyi once speculated about the possibility of a vacuum being between his ears. That is questionable but what is clear is that his IQ is definitely in single digits- his underwhelming interviews say it all.
His face is a clear evidence of a man who endures torture when doing any sort of reading. Some might say he compensates his intellectual deficiencies with a strong will that can overcome any hurdle. I also find that questionable. If you carefully look at Atwoliâ€™s actions with a lens it wonâ€™t take long before you discover that his back bone is made of jelly. H
e is almost all the time on both sides of the coin- he praises and accuses the government at the same time. So, for a man who nature denied so much, what has been the secret of his longevity in COTU? The answer lies in a simple yet effective strategy- buy off the ambitious and intelligent below you and lick the boots of those above you. But to kill? A resounding no.
I understand the popularity of conspiracy theories in this country. Personally, I am not their fan though I fully understand that the human mind is wired to always seek explanation for things that happen around them. If the happenings are too complicated for fast and easy explanations, the vacuum is filled with simple and lazy explanations glorified and well clothed by fringe groups that peddle conspiracy theories day and night.
It is shameful that the media, once a beacon of truth, has decided to descend to this realm of low brows. Once considered a shining city upon a hill as far as truth is considered, they are now the chief purveyors of conspiracy theories. Once an independent and reliable institution, it is now a mere puppet on a string pandering to ratings and State House.
Atwoli might not be the best of men but singling him out and then hanging him out to dry in the manner that the media has done is despicable to say the least.