Contemplating the plight of the IDPs in various parts of our country over the past 8 or so weeks, no thought occupied me the most than the need for justice on their part – the victim’s justice.
I know, and accept that there’s some thinking currently on-going on the kind of transitional justice we should have after the fact, but within me equally lurks the feeling that the politics of the day will allow us little room to get real justice.
There might be some consensus on justice around the polls, but I feel we might be made to live with the other injustices for the sake of “national unity, healing and reconcilliation” (read the survival of the political class, irrespective of political affiliation).
As a reporter with the Standard in the months following the 2002 polls, I was privileged to cover the public hearings of the Makau Committee when it visited the Coast.
I’m not certain much would change in that region for the average mwananchi, particularly given the vested interests that have sustained the region’s politics.
In the 2007 polls, my own constituency (Cherangany) went up in flames.
In the weeks following, I had some relatives and friends bearing the brunt of the violence in Naivasha and Uasin Gishu, predictably at the hands of gangs who held some political views.
I think it is in thinking about them that my sense of justice got piqued somewhat.
Sometime in February, my Church’s Synod met to reflect on the situation and came out with the typical vacuous hand-wringing I had long lost interest in.
I buzzed my dad, who had attended the Synod, and expressed my anger at the outcome.
He knew I had expected a definite move towards some positions, but I wasn’t about to go into all that on tapped phone lines.
I’m not certain my blogging in the months of January and February really portrayed my feelings about the foregoing either.
The one coherent thing I recall asking a certain politician, with direct access to both RO and MK, to consider was that the country needs:
1. Distributive justice (to deal with resource access and allocation).
2. Restorative justice (to indemnify, in some way, the non-material, transcedent things we have lost).
3. Retributive justice (the kind that will respond to the situation described by the BBC on radio earlier today and others elsewhere, spoken and unspoken; known and unknown).
I really think there should be some kind of retributive justice – no one, no institution, no power (local or foreign) should be allowed to get away with anything.
Yet the little I have learnt from my short time in the political trenches is that another “real” world exists in the minds of those who are shaping the current phase of our national history, a world in which pragmatism triumphs over morality.
In the final analysis, the Gentleman of Galilee is the only hope that has made and continues to make sense to me.
I have that greater hope in God’s justice.