What you need to know:
- How can these very dangerous people “escape” from the most secure prison in the country?
- What exactly do the prison guards in charge of those convicts take their responsibility to be?
I have always regarded the idea of crimes such as treason as a very rightwing concept, unworthy of a person even with the slightest progressive instincts. Just like I believe that it is totally unacceptable for a journalist to sue for defamation, that one’s right to a good reputation is subordinate to another’s right to freely express oneself. (This is, of course, an unrealistic standard. Many times, those who defame are not doing it to express themselves but to injure out of malice or other schemes.)
There is patriotism that is irrational, ugly, almost fascist; where love for country is used to figleaf intolerance, xenophobia and racism. But I do think that even in a more gentle, liberal rendition of patriotism, there is a place for a crime of betraying the country to which you should owe allegiance.
A country is like a house, a space of safety and refuge for a people, a concept of mutual protection and a guarantee of the future for the generations to come. A person who destroys a society’s ability to provide that mutual protection and kills the guarantee of a future for its children, that guy is, by definition, a traitor, or something close to it, and his crimes are treason, or something akin to it.
On April 3, 2015, four men entered Garissa University, a constituent college of Moi University and shot and killed two guards. They then moved into the university and opened fire on the students as they went about their morning studies and prayers, and even some as they cowered in their rooms. On top of those two guards, they also killed three Kenya Defence Forces soldiers, three staff and 142 students — young Kenyans who had barely started life with exciting futures ahead of them.
Mohamed Ali Abikar is one of the three people convicted of orchestrating that massacre. The other two clowns were caught and convicted before they carried out their crimes but they were both equally dangerous and seeking the means to harm us. How, then, can these very dangerous people “escape” from the most secure prison in the country? And what — exactly — do the prison guards in charge of those convicts take their responsibility to be?
I assume that, had these terrorists crossed over into Somalia, they would have participated in attempts to carry out more terror attacks.
If terrorists can walk out of Kamiti Maximum Security Prison, what kind of security exists in that place? Kamiti has top security isolation facilities for terror convicts. One would have imagined that the three would be held in those facilities. Why were they sharing cells in the general prison?
Is there evidence that the breach on the wall of the cell was achieved by digging from the inside and not the outside? Why was there no waste inside the cell if, indeed, the convicts tunnelled from inside the cell? How could they dig undetected? How could they scale walls undetected by the multiple watchtowers and patrolling warders all over the prison?
These questions have been asked many times before but I just want to add my voice to those calling for a thorough investigation and the most serious charges possible brought against those who may have played a part in this whole dangerous saga.
If it is found out that those terrorists were let out of the prison by the people we have trusted to keep them in jail, can you imagine what type of country we have become? A country where we can’t even keep the most dangerous criminals in prison?
And do you see the possibilities it opens up? It means that we need to do an audit of all the dangerous criminals ever jailed, just to make sure that they are still behind bars. It also means that there may be no guarantee that convicts in jail for less serious offences might have escaped justice a long time ago.
Finally, the Kenya Prisons Service is due for very thorough and comprehensive reforms, which must involve weeding out some of these bad actors.
In the end, we must also resolve whether, in case it is established to be true, setting free a person who took part in the slaughter of 142 of our children, not to mention soldiers, has not betrayed the country and its future and whether, by some definition, that is not treason.
Besides, if Al-Shabaab has declared war on Kenya, what are those who aid the terror group guilty of?
Former Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko is an interesting and dangerous man. Listening to him skillfully stroke information out of his hapless informants, all the while running a live wire, is both captivating and horrifying.
I am not sure what to make of it all but I do know one thing: Those folks will rue the day they chose to take him into their confidence. This society has more layers than extravagant wedding cake. The outside looks clean and decent but the inside is maggot-infested and odoriferous.