Monday, March 8, 2010

Justice be our shield and defender

Today is International Women's Day and I wish to join in hailing praise to our women who have played a great role in ensuring that this world is what it is today. God new what he was doing when he created a woman. I highly doubt that the world would be as beautiful, cheerful and filled with all signs of happiness without our dear women. But it has not always been easy for them. As a matter of fact women have and continue to bore the brunt of injustices that characterize our world. The labor hard in farms and industries but are denied the opportunity to control the very income they participate in bringing. They are victimized for crimes they never committed and are many at times denied the opportunity to own and inherit property of their departed family members even when they are the rightful next of keen. They bear the pain of child birth, rearing and support while at times receiving no support from their male partners. In what I observe as an increasing male scarce society, women are bearing burdens they should not. sadly to note is that the scarcity of men is not just physical absence but actually abdication of responsibility in the homes. God help us men to always take our ruightful positions without fear or favour for as John Hagee observes, " When men fail, the church falls and the society collapses".

I turn to our reflection of the day - Justice Be Our Shield and Defender.

" Justice delayed is justice denied and an injustice in itself", goes an old saying (emphasis mine). Kenya is a prime case study of justice both delayed and denied. In every corner of the country is one crying for justice to be done. No one can claim to be free from the effects of injustice as long as one of us is unjustly treated. Martin Luther King Jr. best expressed this when he observed, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly". We are all intertwined in the mesh of injustice in two main ways. By either propagating it or by keeping silence as it is being propagated. S/he who does not oppose evil supports it. A simple example is when I have sat quietly in matatu (bus) while the conductor overcharges someone who is unable to defend themselves. Have you ever been part of watching injustice propagated but kept quiet because you were not the victim.

It is a natural flow that with the blessing of God of all creation on the land and nation that there will be justice in the land. The land we envision is one with justice as the shield and defender. The shield and defender pre-supposes, and rightly so, that there will be dangerous aims at the people of Kenya and thus the need to be protected by a just system and people. But this seems to have evaded us in many ways. This blog observes that there has been an effort to establish a law on almost every matter that is affecting the country including the recent enactment of the National Cohesion and Integration Act, 2008 (earlier named Ethnic relations bill). However, many laws do not necessarily imply existence of justice. This is because, justice is a matter of the heart. True justice is advance by a just heart and not laws. The citizenry must be ready to read the letter of the law and live the spirit of the same. But what makes justice in Kenya such an elusive thing? Why are so many hurting of injustices, while those responsible enjoy their freedom? Why is no concrete action being taken to address this injustices? Why are all efforts towards justice met with resistance or interfered with? Why is it that the reports of commissions of inquiry that touched on critical matters of justice such as The Ndungu Report, Akiwumi Report and others never implemented? Were they a PR exercise meant to hood wink the powerless public?

One can only concluded that there lacks will to give justice to they that deserve it. Those in power use oppression to rule of the people and thus have intention to address the citizens concern. But it is also true that they (those in power) are responsible for causing the injustices and thus addressing them would mean shooting the very hand that feeds them. It is case of sheep's welfare being in the hands of the wolf.

Enough is enough. It is time to make justice a reality in Kenya. Over and above the myriad of commissions established in the country there is need to make sure that justice flows like a river to all people. The worst injustices are those committed by citizens to citizens. Its neighbours who burn and evict their neighbours from their homes? It is employers who mistreat their employees? It is religious leaders who take advantage of their followers by underpaying them and overworking them?

I invite us to not only demand that justice be done, but that we provide justice. What if we each made it our responsibility to do justice and protect those in our part of the world from the injustices of this world. What if we made it our passion and daily core to do what is just. Do you treat those under you in a just way? Does your house technician, juniors at work, fellow students, team know you for justice or injustice?

Its as we do our part that the whole part will be done. May the Lord help us in making Justice a reality.

In Service to God and Country.

ARMS.

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