The week ending 12th of March, 2022, is one of those weeks that can be defined in the words of Vladimir Ilich Lenin, “There are decades where nothing happens, and there are weeks when decades happen.” A lot has happened and we must learn something from all these happenings seeking our attention.
I don’t want to run the risk of assuming that every one of you shares my worldview, cycle or level of exposure to the momentous events of this week. Forest fires mean nothing to the deep-sea fish, and chances are high that all these occurrences could mean different things to us all. So what happened?
- The Forest Road Stalemate
On the 4th of March, 2022, a female motorist was harassed by Boda Boda operators on Wangari Maathai road( formerly forest road) in Nairobi, Kenya. The news surrounding this uncivilised act allegedly reported that the lady knocked a motorcyclist and was met by an angry and daring mob of Boda Boda operators. According to a video that was recorded in the incident, the men harassed the lady, tearing her clothes and demanding that she get out of the car. This issue attracted public backlash and came into the limelight when a campaign went viral seeking regulation on the Boda Boda operators. The proposed regulation by the campaign took this fashion:
Requirements for a licensed Boda Boda rider:
1. Licensing of Boda Boda should be implemented immediately, renewable yearly upon vetting.
2. A licence should be strictly issued to 18 years and above.
3. They must submit a current good conduct certificate
4. They must have undergone road safety training and first aid training
5. They must be a Member of a Registered Association
6. The licence must be revoked indefinitely upon involvement in any criminal activities.
7. Create an app for rogue Boda Boda riders, accessible to the public.
8. They must have a tag indicating their full name and licence number.
The change will:
1. Create safety for the vulnerable in society.
2. Make it easy to trace rogue riders.
3. Equip them with skills to ride safely on the roads.
4. Help them maintain and follow due process on matters accident
5. An app listing rogue riders will help the Boda Boda transport apps to select and sign up their riders.
6. Each transport app with Boda Boda riders will be required to take their riders through reporting procedures and Rule of Law
One thing remains unclear to many people; how the victimised lady reacted after the accident. There are tendencies of motorists vanishing after causing accidents, either to escape responsibility or out of fear of mob injustice. These are some of the very important issues which have not been quite clear, but it reveals much more about human behaviour. The sagging morals have made it difficult to extend kindness because we don’t know who is genuinely in need, and who is an opportunistic swindler. Many are the times in which robbers have masqueraded as stranded strangers on the highway, only to harass and leave stranded, a possible good Samaritan. Sometimes we can make our judgement from a point of little knowledge. But we are responsible as a society for the liberties we have given, and the freedoms we have withheld.
- Relief Food Loot
Four days later, on 8th March, as the country was still absorbing the Forest road inhumanity, determining what to do with the Boda Boda sector, members of the public struck another cut on the wound by irresponsible looting of relief food. A truck that was transporting relief food to North Eastern overturned in Roysambu, along the Thika Super-Highway, and the possible rescuers turned the emergency into a looting spree. How do we start a campaign against the members of the public?
- Stamford Bridge Crisis
But this long week was not done yet, and lovers of sports, especially football, can understand it better. Russia-Ukraine wars caught up with quite a lot of us when the UK government, as part of her sanctions, froze Chelsea FC’s bank accounts due to the club’s ownership by Roman Abramovich, who allegedly is close to Vladimir Putin. All of a sudden contracts and sponsorship deals involving Chelsea were being revoked indefinitely. It seemed like the end of the Roman era was also the end of The Pensioners. It came with mixed feelings to different people, and even now things are not yet clear.
This indeed was one of those weeks in which decades happened. Did it mean anything to you?
I still accept whatever position you will take, I still understand that forest fires are not a headache to the barracuda.
on the Boda Boda mob injustice, it was quite unfortunate. It was a blow, especially to the Motorcyclists. It came at a time when a lot of issues tarnishing their reputation was on the rise. Members of the public have raised not so few complaints about the Boda Boda operators’ recklessness on the highway, and their aiding criminal activities by offering means for an escape to pickpockets and ferrying violent robbers along highways. I have witnessed the same close to my Universities as students, especially female students getting robbed of their valuables forcing utmost care when traversing such highways. It would be risky and unfair to assume that all these issues are done by the Boda Boda operators because people can own motorbikes privately and do whatever they want to do.
Handling this issue requires a lot of care. It is a dangerous and hasty generalisation to assume that all Boda Boda operators are criminals. I know gentlemen in the same business. Not everyone who rides a motorbike is in order business. Some could be opportunistic thugs masquerading in this widespread hustle causing the rest. But the law must affect both the wheat and tares, in the industry. I hope the government and the transport stakeholders will be able to provide a kind and safe solution. While the transport industry can be regulated by a few pieces of regulation, what about the unidentified members of the public who looted relief food? How can regulations make people kind and human in times of emergency? Are you seeing more than can be handled by regulations?
If there is something that all these three issues and others too frequent to be reported were to teach us, it is the issue of character and humanity. To be bolder, society is harvesting the fruits of its own growing. A lot of things go unrebuked and uncorrected when values and cultures are put into question. There are a lot of opinions that always make society lean towards anarchy. This is the spirit of independence and regarding no authority, including God’s. Ladies are taught to dance to the tune of “my dress my choice”, and then marvel when products of the same society loot relief food. Our education system teaches people to be free thinkers and not submit especially to things that require faith, yet society condemns the same people when they want to be independent in their way of handling offences. While some people regarded the Russia-Ukraine wars as none of their business, it finally hit them hard when its waves were felt in London in the fashion of Stamford Bridge woes.
If there is something that is being made more and more clear, it is the fact that we are all woven together in the great web of humanity, and our actions will affect another person. It took the effort of a few Boda Boda operators to attract more stringent concerns for the entire nation. And I know, the looting of relief food is not a small matter, especially to those who would consider extending their philanthropic ventures. On the other hand, the Stamford Bridge Crisis has brought the Russia-Ukraine wars to the doorstep of millions of people who love soccer globally. When any of us is affected, we will eventually feel its spillover effects in our own closets.
And as the issues are coming in quick succession, could it be that it fulfils the prophetic concerns of “The final movements will be rapid ones?” In the rampant cases of inhumanity of man towards man, can’t you see something in the fashion of “ This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come?” What about when men take matters into their own hands and beat up offenders in disregard of the legal institutions and conflict resolution procedures? Don’t you see lawlessness on the rise? It seems like it’s time to lift up our heads and look into the Eastern sky. The signs are fulfilling day by day bringing us closer to the reality we have been denying all along; that there is a God in Heaven, and the hour His judgement has come.
What if God was recognised more? There could have been more improvement in the world today. A single dose of thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, can reduce the global problems by half, empty all prisons, and reduce deaths caused by poverty, neglect, and human hand. If we ever needed the Lord before, we surely do need him now.
“Obedience to God is liberty from the thraldom of sin, deliverance from human passion and impulse.” —My Life Today P 78. Par. 6