I was born a good man, brought up a good man, grew up and turned out a good man and taught to respect norms and laws, to respect people and keep my distance from what was not mine. Those lessons have thus far served me well. Combined with age, experience and circumstances, I can confidently say that I am not doing badly when it comes to living the straight and narrow. I know most people are brought up to be good boys and girls, to keep the hands away from any type of cookie jar. But I really do not know why some characters missed the bus or skipped basic behaviuoral training from their parents, teachers, guardians, Sunday school teachers, madrassa teachers and the community at large.
An example would be the species known as touts or makangas. For the uninitiated, a makanga on this side of the universe is that person who collects bus fare from passengers. This species thrives mostly where anarchy and disorder reign and has been found to exhibit symptoms of a person suffering from Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome combined with schizophrenia. I have declare my interest though in this matter. I have very many kange acquaintances some of whom are just normal human beings, with the ability to reason and critique. But for majority of them, reason is an alien appendage o be shunned like an Ebola plague. A friend who I will not name used to tell us that for one to be a successful kange, he had to have fulfilled certain important conditions, to have rebelled against parental authority, to have rebelled against school authorities, to have rebelled against the laws of the land and finally and preposterously, to have sinned against heaven and earth! To illustrate the last point, just last month, a lady was thrown off a moving bus to her death because she didn’t have Kshs. 10 to top up her fare.
Back to my initial thoughts, even though I do not commit crimes, it is not because I cannot surmount the madness to bring myself to knock some people senseless or God forbid, dead. I was once taught that law exists to serve several ends, including but not limited to protecting the weak from the strong (e.g. a person from the overreach of the state), protect public order (e.g. by banning certain behaviour and conduct), to deter people from repeating crimes ( ili liwe funzo kwa wengine wenye nia kama hio narrative) set out the powers of the state organs and their limitations and keeping people safe. We will not have the senseless bloodletting like that we witnessed in 2008 because the International Criminal Court, Koffi Annan, Justice Philip Waki and his team, Louis Moreno Ocampo and Madam Fatou Bensouda have already shown the world that international law is always law in motion, never suspended at any time of the day or night. In my case, I usually fear the threats of sanctions when a tout misbehaves to me or one of my fellow passengers. The mere fact that I may be locked up for assault sends shivers down my spine and I am usually forced to plead with the tout. In the absence of any law, I could just hit the touts head with the nearest fatal object in sight.
The touts operate with impunity as if the world owes them a favour. Were it not for the deterring effects of the law, I believe many touts would have their wrists slit and their bodies soaked in acid. But thank God, we live in a society governed by law and majority of the people suffer silently, and complain later. But there are instances where even I, the great law-abiding citizen would risk spending time behind bars. Gun violence in Chicago is at an all time high, the black on black crime has become unmanageable for the state and people there are living as if on borrowed time. All this is because some people have chosen the path of destruction and drugs addiction. The only way out of this conundrum is the execution of each offender found guilty. The life of Hadiya Pendleton (may the good Lord rest her soul in eternal peace) a 15-year-old girl in Chicago was nipped in the bud by a hell sent son of a gun. To be sincere, If I was the Hadiya’s father and found out who killed her, I would suspend the law and elect to suffer the consequences. I would make sure that that hoodlum dies a slow painful death, after which nothing would be found to be buried.