By Mwende Kyalo
I am getting shocked and surprised when I see Kenyans advice fellow Kenyans to start respecting the police in the light of attacks on police officers recently.
Like which Kenya do you live in?
Some are using the ‘they are human card’. While others are using ‘they protect you from al shabaab’.
What I don’t get, is how these people with this simplistic view, assume this has anything to do with the police officers themselves.
Police in Kenya have always taken bribes.
They have always been lax on their jobs.
They have always harassed tuk tuk and motorbike drivers.
Yaani, police conduct hasn’t changed . If you wish for statistics look for number 1 or 2 leading corrupt institutions in Kenya for the last over 10years. The force never dissapoints.
What has changed, is Kenyans’ reaction. Beating of police officers? Disobeying them? And not in one part of the country?
That is new in the scale and frequency. That should be where we are asking what is up. Because that’s the abnormal thing.
Why now? What has changed to warrant this change?
I was referring someone to the 1950s. When people started beating and killing chiefs. It had nothing to do with chiefs. It wasn’t that people suddenly realised that chiefs aren’t human so we should harass them.
But a people can only be oppressed for so long. And when their right to live is threatened by a government, the first people oppressed people attack is the representatives of the oppressors. In 1950s, it was the chief. In 2018, the police officer represents a corrupt government that is making fending for your family, a risky activity.
And just like the government responded in 1950s, you can be rest assured, that if Kenyans continue attacking officers, either the officers shall retaliate back brutally or the government shall.
And just like the 1950s, this shall incite Kenyans even more. You steal from me, harass me for years, and now increase the scale of harassing me?
And Kenyans shall fight back even worse. That’s how freedom comes.
So if you think the recent attacks on police officers have anything to do with them…think again.