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Editorials

EDITORIAL: Stop flouting the law

A government that derives its powers from the Constitution of Kenya cannot afford to act in a quasi-or extra-constitutional manner. FILE PHOTO | NMG
A government that derives its powers from the Constitution of Kenya cannot afford to act in a quasi-or extra-constitutional manner. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Ongoing crackdown on opposition figures in the manner it has been done in the past few days is not only dangerous, but could turn out to be very expensive in the long run.

This is because a government that derives its powers from the Constitution of Kenya cannot afford to act in a quasi-or extra-constitutional manner.

Besides, any action taken outside the law – though it may succeed in silencing dissent today – will exact a heavy price in the long term.

The sting lies in the fact that victims of extra-judicial State actions are often able to sit out regimes only to return and claim their pound of flesh years later.

In the past 10 years alone, the Kenyan taxpayer has paid more than Sh1 billion in compensation to victims of the Moi dictatorship in the 1990s.

The courts have awarded millions of shillings to victims of detention without trial, torture or even wrongful dismissal from government jobs – making it imperative that that those wielding State power take enough care to check the legal fitness of their actions.

This is because unlike the past, the Constitution now demands that any public officer who causes such loss of public resources must be made to pay up whether in or out of office – a provision that may return to bite hundreds of officials now presiding over the current actions.

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