Religious persecution in Western Province and North Rift by forces of impunity – Where are the law enforcement agencies and the Director of Public Prosecutions?
Written by West FM
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A man who won’t die for something is not fit to live” by Martin Luther King
Bishop Beniah Salala of the Anglican Church of Kenya, Mumias has on 4th June 2012 gone public that his life is in danger. The District Criminal Investigation Officer of the area confirmed that the police are investigating the threats. The Anglican Bishop has revealed that he has received death threats on his cell-phone through calls and text messages.
The Anglican Bishop is justifiably concerned that the death threats may not be idle threats because one of the Priest in his diocese, the late Benson Nandwa was found murdered in cold blood in his home hardly two months ago. The murderers of the late Priest Benson Nandwa have yet to be apprehended to date.
The Anglican Church of Mumias under the tutelage of Bishop Salala is being targeted by the forces of impunity, those perpetrating injustices, the forces of corruption. The church is the conscience of society. It speaks for, defends and uplifts the voiceless, the meek, the disadvantaged, the weak, the underprivileged, the orphans, the widows and the deprived. Bishop Salala has sworn that the Anglican Church of Mumias will stand up, speak against, expose vices in the Diocese and death threats and death will not silence him and the servants of God working with him.
West fm states that the audacity of the criminal- impunity being witnessed in the diocese of the Anglican Church of Mumias is symbolic of what is happening across the length and breadth of Western Province and North Rift. At the heart of the criminal impunity directed at Bishop Salala, the fallen servant of God Ben Nandwa murdered in cold blood there is political patronage and/or I don’t care attitude by the executive, the legislature and the judiciary.
The law enforcement agencies in the region have regrettably recorded next to zero returns in combating criminal activities and at worst apprehending murderers. West fm can catalogue an unending list of murders committed in the region in the last five years that remain unresolved and without even anybody having been apprehended and charged in court. The state of affairs as far as the police are concerned of bringing to book criminals in serious crimes of murder and violence is plainly deplorable and scandalous.
Article 19 of the Constitution of Kenya proclaims and entrenches the Bill of Rights as an integral part of Kenya’s democratic state and as the framework for social economic and cultural policies.
Article 19 of the Constitution further stipulates that the purpose of recognizing and protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms is to preserve the dignity of individuals and communities and promote social justice and the realization of the potential of all human beings in Kenya.
Article 19 goes deeper to provide that the rights and fundamental freedoms in the Bill of Rights (a) belong to each individual and are not granted by the state (b) do not exclude other rights and fundamental freedoms not in the Bill of Rights but recognized or conferred by law so long as they are not inconsistent with the Bill of Rights and (c) are subject only the limitations set out in the Bill of Rights itself.
Article 21 is express that it is the fundamental duty of the state and every state organ to observe, respect, protect, promote, and fulfill the rights and fundamental freedoms in the Bill of Rights.
The right to life is at the core of all the fundamental rights under the Bill of Rights. Human dignity, freedom of conscience, religion, belief and opinion, freedom of expression, freedom of the media are all sacred rights and freedoms that are the cornerstones of the Constitution of Kenya 2010.
These rights and fundamental freedoms under the Bill of Rights are under siege, being desecrated in Western Province and North Rift on an hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, yearly basis and without the state and state organs charged with the duty to observe, respect, protect and fulfill those rights, freedoms discharging their Constitutional mandate to do so.
The law enforcement agencies, the Kenya police, the Directorate of Criminal Investigation CID, the National Intelligence Service, and the Director of Public Prosecutions are charged with investigating detecting crime, apprehending criminals and prosecuting them in our courts. Those duties are not being efficiently, diligently, competently, expeditiously being executed in Western Province and North Rift and it is no wonder the forces of criminal impunity are having a field day in the region terrorizing residents and now persecuting religious leaders.
And if the Anglican Bishop of Mumias can be threatened personally and his Priest killed in cold blood without anybody being apprehended who else is safe in Western Province and North Rift?
Where are the elected leaders of Western Province as religious leaders are being persecuted by lords of impunity? Where are the Cabinet Ministers, Permanent Secretaries as religious leaders and ordinary residents of the region live in mortal fear of criminals who can at will kill, maim, rape and violently take private property, terrorize the region? Are the elected leaders on the side of impunity or on the side of the ordinary citizen?
West fm challenges the electorate of Western Province and North Rift to use the forthcoming General Elections to elect to public offices leaders who are of the highest integrity and capable to fight for them and protect and realize their Constitutional rights the way men and women like Bishop Salala are doing. Justice shall eventually prevail. The moral arc of the universe bends at the elbow of Justice and for the lords of impunity, the voice of God will never be silenced. Keep on the good fight men and women of God like Bishop Salala, Bishop Crowley and other Bishops and your priests.
WEST FM EDITORIAL©2012