we continue to miss the big picture at our own peril

When Oscar Foundation founder, Oscar King’ara, was killed ten days ago I expected that the government would be embarrassed enough to do something about the seemingly premeditated killings that have rocked the country in the last few months. There seems to be an elaborate plan by the security forces in Kenya to sidestep the judicial system and neutralize suspected criminals. This is wrong. This wrong precisely because as citizens of Kenya we are all entitled to a just trial in court before being punished if found guilty. If we let the politicians decide who is guilty or not what will stop them from using the security apparatus to eliminate political opponents? Commissioner Ali, WE ARE NOT A POLICE STATE. AND IF WE ARE, COME OUT CLEAN AND LET THE WORLD KNOW.

That not a single individual has been arrested and tried for the killing of Mr. Kang’aru or the hundreds of other young Kenyans killed by the mysterious death squad is a shame. It is a shame on the government of president Kibaki and premier Odinga. It is a shame on the Kenyan media who now are fixated on 2012 succession politics and have completely forgotten about the deteriorating condition of security in Kenya. It is a shame on the Kenyan civil society who seem to be willing to stop at issuing statements condemning the killings. Don’t we have investigative journalists who can expose exactly what is going on?

Who is behind these killings? The police commissioner must know. Can’t parliament summon him and have him testify under oath? And why is the attorney general still in office? Mr. Wako, please go home. Your EIGHTEEN years as our attorney general has brought nothing but shame to the Kenyan judiciary. Go home.

Mungiki-linked NGO leader killed after a day of mayhem

Following a day of Mungiki-led protests that disrupted traffic in Nairobi and its environs, Oscar Kamau King’ara, leader of the Oscar Foundation was shot dead by unknown people on State House Road Thursday night. In his company, and also felled by the unknown assassins, was one Paul Oulu, a former official of the students’ union at the University of Nairobi. The killing of Mr. Oulu prompted riots by University of Nairobi students. The Standard reports that government spokesman, Dr. Alfred Mutua, had accused Mr. King’ara’s foundation of being involved in fund-raising for Mungiki, a banned organization.

Both Mr. Oulu and Mr. King’ara had spoken to Mr. Alston, the UN investigator on extra-judicial killings in Kenya, and given evidence of police involvement in unlawful execution of suspected criminals – including members of Mungiki. Their violent murder comes in the wake of the murder of another witness of Mr. Alston’s Mr. Bernard Kiriinya.

The murder of Oulu and King’ara reeks of police involvement. I think it is time President Kibaki’s government set up an independent investigation into the extrajudicial killings that have become the norm in the police force. And Ali, I thought he was a sane man. How can he let this happen under his watch? His police force is the prime suspect on this one, and if he thinks otherwise he better tell us who killed the two ASAP or resign.

Update: I found Wanyeki’s take on this issue interesting and a bit more balanced than most.