Wednesday, December 13, 2017

An they dare call it justice

When it is people from low-income backgrounds that are dying, their lives don’t mean as much in the grand scheme of things. Their deaths often don’t make the news, flags don’t fly at half mast and important politicians don’t show up at their funerals. The same applies to the entire justice system, which is hopelessly stacked against them.

The rich can afford fancy lawyers with an army of assistants to make sure that a case goes on forever. When all else fails, and sometimes just because they can, they buy judges and their cases go away. The judges, prosecutors, policemen and the witnesses all know it is an unfair system designed to protect the rich but they still willingly take part in it.

The poor rot in detention while their matters are mentioned, repeatedly delayed on small procedural issues or prosecutorial errors and lose their livelihoods while waiting for their date with a judge. Their pleas are not heard and most don’t even dare speak up in front of the court, lest they say the wrong thing and offend the important people at the front. Whether you are accused of a crime or you are the plaintiff in a case, you need plenty of money and impeccable English to be even considered in today’s Kenya.

A chicken thief is jailed for several years while those who loot billions get elected to public office.  When a poor person takes what is not theirs, it is called theft but when a rich person helps themselves to other people’s money, it is called a perk of office.

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