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My Response to A Luo Non-Raila Supporter Regarding Raila, ODM and Freedom of Speech

24 Aug

The following is my response to an individual I would best characterize as a non-Raila supporter on views he espoused at another forum regarding Raila, ODM and freedom of speech. I so characterize this individual because he is not rabidly anti-anti Raila as some I have seen and responded to in these fora.

Daktari,

You are being unnecessarily alarmist.

So are a number of a few others I have seen start this whole line of alarmist thinking that has no basis in fact.

We almost degenerated into a civil war in 2008 because of unprecedented, blatant and wanton disregard of the rule of law and damnable affront of the will of the people.

I doubt very seriously we’ll ever see anything close in our lifetime, or ever for that matter.

The conditions are just not there and under no circumstances can they arise, given the significant strides we have taken in reforms since those dark days.

There is, after all, a silver lining in everything.

You say, “For a start, why is someone crediting the New Katiba (more so ODM) with the freedom of speech? The one thing one has to give to the Kibaki/NARC Administration is the ‘freedom’ of speech (or was it?), long before the new katiba.

I’ll agree with you there has been a steady progression of improved freedom of speech, even going back to the latter part of the Moi regime but you also must agree with me Kenyans are ever more freer, not just in expression of speech but in all other respects since the promulgation of the new constitution, would you not?

Indeed, at the speed some of these netters and some on the ground are abusing the speech, who shall it surprise if curbs are not at some point placed in place.

Freedom of speech is not open carte blanche.

Even here in the US, which prides itself as the most open society on earth, there are time, place and manner restrictions on speech, ditto for Kenya even under the new constitution, albeit vaguely defined and limited to hate speech.

Although I am personally thick skinned and don’t myself going to court to sue over slander and all manner of libel I am a victim of, at least I know now I can do so with considerable and satisfactory results, if I so choose, unlike in the past where I wouldn’t even bother and this thanks to the new judicial reforms underway.

I urge others to do the same, namely, let not the court be somewhere to rush whenever one feels wronged.

I have lived and practiced law in the most litigious society here in the US and even though that’s nothing necessarily bad for lawyers like myself, I would hate to see our country end up the same.

That’s not to say the slanderous and libel-prone have free rein to be; they are in check and let them be hauled to court as circumstances warrant.

You say, “And btw, did you say ODM is a party which believes in the judicial system? Really? Then why the 2007/08 PEV – why didn’t the party simply go to court?

Daktari, are you seriously posing thins question? I know you know the answer but let me just say this: When I saw and heard my friend Hon. Martha Karua counsel at the beginning of the crisis that Raila and ODM should seek redress in court, all I could tell people I was with, was I knew HMK personally but I didn’t know she could be that shrewdly good!

Of course, to anyone who knew nothing about our then rotten judicial system, that sounded as wise counsel.

For the rest of us, including you, we knew going to court at that time would have been a complete waste of time and total joke as absolutely nothing would have come of it, in terms of getting redress or resolution of the crisis.

You say, “JT you dare add “ODM believes in rule of law’, when even a simple hiring and sacking of Miguna couldn’t be done as per by law established?

Miguna Miguna worked at the PM’s office, not for ODM so his suspension has nothing to do with whether ODM believes in the rule of law, which it does.

In any case, all publicly available information tends to show the suspension of Miguna Miguna was done properly and consistent with the law. He says otherwise and has gone to court to challenge this. Let’s wait and see how the court rules before , shall we?

You say, “Nd. Omwenga, 5 years down the line (if God allows us to live that long), you will agree with me/us. They will have done a Miguna on you.”

Despite my repeatedly and vigorously stating the opposite, which is true, everyone somehow refuses to believe and assumes I strongly defend Raila because I am interested in serving in the Raila government. In fact, when I happened to be in Nairobi on business last week, everyone I know assumed I was there to replace Miguna, when I didn’t even know that he was suspended as I was in transit to Nairobi when that happened.

In fact, if I were interested in being appointed to serve in government, this would have happened a long time ago.

The only position may be interested in serving, is as President, after Raila.  I am therefore not concerned about a Miguna being “done on me!”

You say, “And please don’t brand everyone else who doesn’t see things your way anti-this or anti-that!”

I actually don’t; not everyone who does not support Raila is necessarily anti-Railaist as I use that noun.

You say, “And now Ndugu X has coined a new one: “gunslinger”! I wish you well.

Nd. X  wants to change professions in late life and become a comedian and is practicing by this “gunslinger” coining. We should wish him well.

I have nothing to say about anything Judy says other than to say I am happy to note you disagree with some of her conspiratorial and delusional theories.

You say, “There are those who will go every length to ensure they retain power. In equal measure, there are those who will do anything and everything to ensure they get to that power.

There is nothing wrong with either, as long as its done within and consistent with the rule of law and not in disregard of.

In fact, all politicians bar none are do or would do this.

You say, “Mind not what they will do with that power, if the threats being bandied (and in some cases delivered) are anything to go by. These are both the wrong cadres of people for Kenya – at least not to lead it!”

I don’t know what threats you are referring to so I can’t comment on this.

You say, “This is why I cringe when I see people promote PNU and/or ODM on these spaces. If Kenya ever needed divine intervention, it is NOW!

Kenya will be just fine under the rule of ODM; in fact, it will be far better off than being ruled under any other party.

Peace, Love and Unity

Samuel N. Omwenga, Esq.

[Unedited]

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Posted by on August 24, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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