Human Rights in Kenya – Vetting Process a Trigger for the Gender Debate
Human Rights in Kenya went a notch higher after the recently promulgated constitution prescribed a vetting system that saw top Judiciary officials subjected to public vetting. It has baffled both reformers and anti-reformers in equal measures. It was a spectacular process to watch.
‘’It’s indeed a new dawn, an eye opener for many more exciting things to come,” says Stanley Wangare an LGBT rights activist. It is an achievement for Human Rights in Kenya.
“We can demand and get our rightful dues. We can talk about and debate on things that were considered despicable. Human Rights in Kenya must gain momentum and that’s the way we are heading,” he says.
Human Rights in Kenya – Gender and sexuality Issues
The subject of Sexuality has been the most controversial in Kenya. To some it’s a taboo, while to others, it’s just another topic left for religious leaders, civil society groups and the political class to explore. ‘I am well convinced that this is a social topic affecting our every day life.
However, I am disappointed with the level of hypocrisy displayed by both our religious leaders and ruling class. Activists have argued that it’s important to allow sex education in schools so that sexual violations can be reduced. Human Rights in Kenya can receive a boost if issues are addressed in honesty.
Leadership Violating – Human Rights in Kenya
Religious and Political leadership is an important determinant of any socio-economic growth. However, leadership in Kenya has failed the test of time.
“We have allowed ourselves to be led by egocentric leaders. We are being led astray like lost sheep. We have given up our intellectual prowess to a crop of leaders who have successfully managed to twists us to there own gains,” Says Kimindu an Anglican clergy. They care less for Human Rights in Kenya.
Political parties have only helped in increasing violations of Human Rights in Kenya. On the contrary they have never shown any consistencies in tandem with their manifestos and political ideologies. We seem to be trapped in the same ship with them.
We witness the making of tribal kingpins who pause a great dilemma that I liken to a plague. This only succeeds in creating tribal alliances that are based on trivial grounds.
We have never thought of interrogating the basis of their decisions and arguments. The country is so beholden onto ethnic and political leanings. Do you think this can be a pride for Human Rights in Kenya?
The Church and – Human Rights in Kenya
The Church has been a major influence in dictating on morality issues. For a long time they have been using tactical means of divide and rule which is commonly used by the political class. Their congregants have found themselves in vulnerable situations.
In established churches, there is a clear distinction of class. This arrangement has perfected the act of discrimination, which is a violation of Human Rights in Kenya.
The handling of the rich with much respect is baffling, sometimes, it is a known fact that some of them might have engaged in malpractices. The poor are condemned in our society and they continue to suffer. “These clergymen have continued to disgrace the noble foundations that Christ left’’ says Stanley.
Religious fundamentalists are a major stumbling block in the development of Human Rights in Kenya. They are known to have orchestrated a well planned anti reform strategy to prevent the new Constitution from being accepted, but they failed.
The Constitution and Human Rights in Kenya
The new constitution has endowed the people of Kenya with a new dispensation of quality Constitutionalism. Issues of human rights such as gender equality, discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion, belief etc are clearly addressed. This is a culmination of the realization of Human Rights in Kenya.
Sexual minority groups have in the past suffered discrimination, stigma, brutality and other inhumane acts due to induced hate speeches and sermons. Human Rights in Kenya has then been boosted by the brevity of activists from minority groups. They have strongly come out to articulate their issues.
The new constitution clearly stipulates that the judiciary shall be cleaned up by vetting all the judicial officers.
The process saw two respectable personalities making for the highest and most prestigious office of the Chief Justice and deputy chief justice respectively. Dr Willy Mutunga and Nancy Makokha Baraza made it respectively. This is a major step for Human Rights in Kenya.
The candidates were subjected to extensive scrutiny through interviews aired live on local TV stations. Activists are satisfied that this was a plus to Human Rights in Kenya. “I am happy that the vetting was done in a transparent manner. I confidently give it a clean bill of health,” said Stanley.
The Gay and Lesbian (G and L) factor
“Are you gay Dr. Willy Mutunga?’’ Hon Millie Odhiambo one of the vetting panelists asked without mincing words.
“Are you lesbian Nancy Baraza? They wondered
Why the questions then? Are they not a violation of Human Rights in Kenya?
Willy puts on a stud. This is thought to be against the African cultural practices. The feeling was that the case of Willy was extreme given that he was above the age of 60. It was argued that the youth who put on studs are in a transitory period, but is that justified?
He was also accused of working in an institution that funds activities for LGBT based organizations. Human Rights in Kenya is challenged by the existence of demagogues who are intolerable.
Nancy’s thesis was the concern .The topic she chose was on homosexuality and the legal challenges in Kenya.
Both are divorced and were thought to be a bad example on family values.
“I am not gay. I am also not homophobic nor do I discriminate anyone on any grounds. I have a nephew who confided in me that he is gay and I felt that it is my responsibility to protect him,” said Willy.
Nancy’s answer was very humorous. “If I was lesbian I would not have hesitated to seduce these ladies who are my good friends.” She said.
She also wondered why her choice of thesis was under scrutiny yet gays and lesbians are a living reality and attributed to the fact that about 10% of Kenyans are homosexuals. She said her research work was informative and educative and will help on health policies and decision making.
“Gay men today are forced into marriages to look` proper’. `They do there heterosexual obligation then go to their homosexual activities at night’, She said.
“I belong to all religions. I put on this stud as a connection to all,” says Willy.
Both Willy and Nancy are great and renowned reformists, dating back, the days of the one party rule in Kenya. This is a period where many atrocities were committed. Impunity was the order of the day. In fact, Dr Willy Mutunga was arrested and jailed while agitating for reforms.
In the cycles of Human Rights in Kenya the two are icons. Both of them are valued as people of high integrity and moral standing in society above reproach. They are reputable intellectuals with exemplary credentials.
Human Rights in Kenya the epitome of the dreaded Gender debate
The Chief justice and her deputy have sparked up an unprecedented debate that could positively impact on Human Rights in Kenya especially for the gay and lesbians. This in essence is the epitome of the dreaded reality of the G and L and Human Rights in Kenya.
The singularity of these two approvals is more in their symbolism than in effect. After denigrating education for four decades, Kenya seems to be acknowledging that academic knowledge and achievement count for something.
It is largely due to the fact that the country in the past spurned ideas and discouraged thinking and annoyingly continued to struggle in the crowded field of the poor and backward societies. It is authoritative that the picking of Dr Mutunga and Nancy in essence symbolizes a desire to put values in ideas.
Every society harnesses the need to grow new ideas that translate into new knowledge. Activism has been bandied around like a taboo or a dirty word to refer to renegade lieutenants who cannot be assigned to important national duty.
In retrospect, that seems so arcane looking at the successes and attributes displayed by the two in the field of Human Rights in Kenya. We can now hope that the society is slowly transforming itself from a society that used to delight in homophobic attacks to a tolerant society.
The way forward if we have to achieve meaningful reforms in Human Rights in Kenya is to reinvent triggers or stimulants that can perform similar wonders.