PETITIONS NOT EFFECTIVE

Power of revolt not fully adopted in Kenyan protests

If Kenyans collectively wanted justice for DJ Evolve, a protest would prompt the law to recall MP Babu

In Summary

• Rome conquered Greece through cooperation of the masses. 

• DPP said they cannot arrest the legislator since he’s out on bond.

Embakasi East MP Babu Owino at DCI Headquarters.
OUT ON BOND: Embakasi East MP Babu Owino at DCI Headquarters.
Image: FILE

Asked why Embakasi East MP Babu Owino wasn’t in police custody after allegedly shooting Felix Orinda aka DJ Evolve, Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Haji said they cannot arrest the legislator since he’s out on bond.

Haji, however, said if Babu's constituents and the rest of the country were aggrieved by the incident, they can recall him. 

But the legal red tape involved in the process of recalling a legislator in Kenya is easier said than done. As legal experts have noted, the law is ambiguous on this matter.

Signatures of 30 per cent of registered voters in the relevant area are required. But if collecting signatures for an impeachment motion of a governor in a county assembly of less than 100 members attracts rather bizarre fights - as we recently witnessed in Kirinyaga county assembly - imagine what could happen in the streets.

Thirdly, this process leaves voters with no option but to look for an alternative way of exercising their supremacy. In a system where political consciousness is hopelessly compromised as is the case with Kenya, the only way to effectively deal with corrupt and ineffectual leaders is sovereignty. 

For instance, Rome conquered Greece through cooperation of the masses. The Russian revolution only happened when the 180 million peasants and workers rose against the less than three million Russian noblemen.

A brief demonstration of anger in Bucharest toppled Nicolae Ceausescu in 1989. It was sustained street protests that conquered the Arab world in 2011. And most recently, demonstration of pent-up anger, fearless collective expression of tiredness, has provoked deep interrogation of race relations in the US and parts of Europe.

Lastly, when people come together in sudden realisation that neither the system nor their elected leaders hold their aspirations, if they protest collectively within this purpose, desired change is always guaranteed. In the interim, the power of protest as yet hasn’t been fully appreciated in Kenya. 

Journalism student, MMUK