Tony Mochama sexual harassment case: The High Court of Twitter deserves more than just an apology and 9 million

In Summary

• What they did to the man was grossly inhumane and   almost makes me tear up. 

Author and journalist Tony Mochama
Author and journalist Tony Mochama
Image: FILE

Like any serious avid reader, I rarely missed out on anything Tony Mochama penned. The injustice and online brutality meted upon him on that dark day in 2014 that everything turned topsy turvy, not only by those two now confirmed attention deficit low quality women but also the high court of twitter shredded me to a teary point.

I can’t even begin to fathom what Tony was feeling and it is time we not again call a spade a big spoon. My mind vividly runs back to Mr  Akanga (our high school librarian) almost skinning me alive once  before this happened   for pulling out Tony’s  pieces for  keeps and pointing out how smitten I was about the poet.  

What they did to the man was grossly inhumane and   almost makes me tear up. For those who may be wondering what exactly happened, let me bring you up to speed.  Recently  , The  Star reported that  Tony , popularly known as  ‘ Smitta Smitten ’ had been awarded 9 million shillings in a defamation case  after magistrate Addah Obura found  out that the two women  lied  . The case had been filed in 2014.  

A painful year that Mr. Mochama will live to remember unfortunately, whether he likes it or not. Twitter Today I have decided to address the high court of Twitter.A noble energetic  court that sits day and night without avail  reading riot acts and condemning individuals that most probably have never met in real life and have no idea what they stand for.

They also determine cases and pass verdict mostly without  reflecting , fact-checking , verifying , any iota of evidence, truths or any right of reply whatsoever in cases such as Tony’s. The digital era is a whole new animal and Mr. Mochama probably won’t be the last. Before I explain further, let me give credit where it’s to due. 

On that day in 2014, Wanjeri Nderu, a former journalist turned award-winning human rights defender tried to save the high court of twitter from itself.  She openly confirmed in a series of tweets that she was present on that say next to Tony and that the two women were lying.

Of course we ignored because some semblance of ‘political correctness’ would push our thirst for retweets, standard setting and we just do not care about the truth.In fact the two wicked-witches am reliably informed, immediately formed a whatsapp group after rounding up all their clout-chasing morons  and sycophants then spiced up with  a battalion of ugly celebrity sisters  and reprogrammed them with instructions to terminate anyone standing in the way of their hit-job . 

The human rights defender was helplessly trolled and even threatened by those who made it clear that they were ‘standing firm’ with these two women. It’s now only fair they continue standing with her in paying up the  nine million shillings and drafting the apology letter just as they did in maiming the reputation of a journalist and peddling a flimsy story. False accusations Sexual harassment is nothing I would wish even on my worst enemy.  

These two women lying about it is not only an injustice to Tony but also a blow to many real victims of sexual harassment. I have always had a leap of faith in our judicial system and as a matter of fact 2 rugby players are have been jailed after being found guilty of rape. The injustice we must now  urgently address involves men being falsely accused of rape and sexual harassment,  the emotional and psychological torture that comes with it because thanks to technological disruption men are now  found guilty  and tried condemned to death before being proved innocent .

Surely,   if at all justice is our shield and defender we must act.It is nauseating and unacceptable to actually see two full grown women toy around with sexual harassment falsehoods as if it comes along with some badge of honour. Women   especially have come a long way to let two malicious individuals destroy their life’s work.In case you did not know, lying about sexual harassment attracts a jail sentence in other parts of the world.

A week ago in the UK  , a judge said that a woman who falsely accused a taxi driver of raping her showed a “  blatant disregard ” for him and the reputation of the justice system before jailing her for three years . At sentencing, Judge Julie Warburton said: “What you did strikes at the very heart of criminal justice. “It has a tendency to damage the public perception of justice and can impact on the administration of justice in rape cases generally.” Laura Hood had told the court she was innocent because she had not knowingly lied, and instead had a false belief of “something so clear in my head” even as a consultant forensic psychiatrist concluded there was no medical or psychiatric explanation for her belief.

In another incident in New Delhi, police recently arrested two women and rounded up a gang of over 18 more along with them who allegedly target young men and threaten them with false rape allegations if they do not pay up hundreds of thousands. The woman and her female accomplice were arrested while accepting an instalment of Kshs 75,000.Also,   a New Delhi court found a software developer in a gang-rape case innocent of the allegations   when police revealed that the man does not live in the city per their investigations. It is happening all over the world sadly.  In my view especially in cases such as Tony Mochama’s, we must learn not to be quick to throw stones. In this era of digital disruption, we must responsibly use our heads and remember that social media is very good as it is very bad. You are responsible for what you post.

Like Dr. Stockmann   (character from Henrik Ibsen’s   book, an enemy of the people)  Smitta Smitten must now gather all the stones hurled at him and use them to build a future that ensures no one else , boy or girl goes through what he did . (Leon Lidigu is a student of journalism at Pacific University, India)