In a wistful tune, a local musician, Cecil Miller, on Sunday released his hit single ‘Haki Si Za Mama Yako’ where he reminisced over the good old days where every few years a commission of inquiry would be established over any one of the many massive crimes that would be committed by the state
The 55 year old musician, nicknamed Mashifta, mused that the commissions were part of the core foundation that makes this country great.
“I fondly remember the inquiry into the first maize heist orchestrated by Paul Ngei. I remember the news reports. I remember that it’s all we talked about for weeks on end, at least until the next scandal broke. Okay fine, that may have happened in the year that I was born but it doesn’t mean that I didn’t hear about it, later.”
Questioned on why he missed processes that yielded no results, he quickly corrected the journalist that he was missing the point.
“This is nothing to do with justice or reparations.The earliest known
commission in colonial Kenya is the Native Labor Commission, appointed in 1913 to inquire into the reasons for persistent labor shortages in the colony for their plantations. It was a colonial inquisition into why they couldn’t get near-free labour. That was the foundation of all commissions.
Later inquiries like the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission queried state sanctioned violence over four decades. It was commissioned even after the state had passed the indemnity act which restricts any legal action based on acts by state officials or members of the armed forces between 1963-1967 in the Northern Frontier Districts where they committed multiple atrocities.
The report was about giving citizens a voice and they were heard. It would have been unfair to punish state officials for decades of massacres carried out when they were young and foolish.
I see no point in dredging up old events. The people who were killed are dead anyway.
I see some people comparing the Ndung’u and Akiwumi reports and the current election-related violence. People fight all the time especially Kenyans. We need someone to discipline us. Focusing on the past is why we’re a third world country
Inquiries over assassinations made for really good TV. Do you remember how the FBI helped cover up the murder of Father Kaiser and called it a suicide even when the autopsy showed that he was shot at the back of his head from a few feet away? I’m surprised that no one has made it into a series yet. I feel like they are our own version of unsolved mysteries and our children need an authentic Kenyan experience
I feel like our president has let us down. He has plenty of material to work with. He has two presidential terms of corruption scandals worth 6.6Tn and counting and not one inquiry? Who does he think he is? What does he think that the role of a president is? If he doesn’t create one then we shall. He should know by now that we don’t want anything as unreasonable as prosecutions so why won’t he do it?
Just in case you think I’m being unreasonable, remember that Kenya made history by being the only country to have a Devil Worship Commission? If you can call 10 adults to investigate the devil then you can certainly do us this favour.
We would think that a president elected off the backs off a trial into crimes against humanity would understand the impact of trial by media and public opinion and still-birthed investigations?”
Cecil will be performing with his fellow struggling artist, Brother Kamlesh Pattni who is on his way from Zimbabwe where he was briefly detained due to mistaken identity. Authorities confused him for a gold con man due to the 98Kg of gold and $4M he was carrying. They were swiftly released by order of the Zimbabwe Central Bank and apologies issued.