OF MOB JUSTICE AND UNIVERSITY GANGS


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UoN Student Leader Babu Owino

There might have been a time when my comrades were a civilised lot. But when that was nobody remembers; it must be when we were hunters and gatherers. Every evening my old man, Grandpa Richard, switches his TV to news about our generation that always consigns him to the clinic with high blood pressure.

At times he gets furious and throws his television off the window, but he somehow gets it repaired keeping faith that one day my comrades will make him proud. More disappointment has become the name of the game. But nothing has agonised the greybeard more than what he watched at primetime news on Monday night.

It was reported that university students had taken it upon themselves to administer deleterious justice towards their comrades who err. Oblivious of the fact that perhaps they’ve destroyed all their neurons with marijuana and booze, some comrades went ahead and arrogated themselves roles of judge jury and executioner.

On Saturday morning, two comrades were accosted mob justice after they allegedly tried to steal a laptop. Blow after blow, kick after kick, stones crashing upon their heads… It was the most agonising death ever. Eye-witnesses have described it as a demonic spasm of violence rarely seen in even the most brutal of films.

Handing them over to the police never crossed the mob’s mind. The devil had descended on each of its members who in turn craved for a dollop of the victims’ blood. Why would anyone choose the most heinous form of punishment while there are more lenient alternatives? When life oozed out of the comrades and sunk into the dirt upon which they lay, it became apparent that we have finally de-evolved to Neanderthals.

William Shakespeare is no longer a teenager, but his writings rung true to Grandpa Richard as he pondered over the savagery. “Murder most foul…  but this most foul, strange and unnatural,” murmured the scholarly retiree quoting the ghost in Hamlet that explains the murder of a brother.

images (1)Even more startling were the revelations that the killings might have been pre-planned by Mafioso gangs that apparently bestride Kenya’s institutions of higher learning like colossi. “When did we allow student leadership bodies to turn into cabals that spawn lawlessness unbridled?” poses Grandpa Richard. “Fountains of knowledge are being hurtled into dystopia on a fast lane and this should not go unchecked.”

I agree with my old man. Universities cannot be seen to condone self-styled thugs and operatives. This is because universities all over are seen as portrayals of a nation’s future. At the current rate the public is fast losing faith in the higher education sector. Everyone dreads a future where the country is run by irate mobs that consign one to the mortuary at the blink of an eye. It scares the lights out of me to imagine a Kenya governed by unruly gangs devoid of values, morals and social sinews.

To the comrades who lost their lives in the flagitious and monstrous manner, may your souls rest in peace.

jowaljones

Jowal Jones is a columnist and correspondent with Kenya's leading newspaper, Daily Nation. He also dabbles in fiction works at times, hoping to be the next Stephen King. Sometimes he takes time out from writing to perfect his deer-dancing and goat-screaming skills.