Critical and creative thinking tools of transformation


Date Posted: 9/22/2011 2:20:07 AM

Posted By: simplis  Membership Level: Bronze  Total Points: 45

In our ardent spirit to fight impunity in our nation, the critical and creative tools of transformation are paramount in this war. Impunity is the failure to bring perpetrators of human rights violation to justice. Such amounts to denial of the victims rights to justice and redress. This is experienced in nations where the rule of law does not apply or if it applies it’s done with double standards. A marvelous example is Kenya.

Impunity in Kenya has grown to alarming levels. Kenya has and is experiencing scandal after scandal involving renowned characters in the political arena who are seldom made responsible of their crimes. Extra judicial killings, unfair justice, double standards in the application of the law, embezzlement of public funds, unfair job allocation, tribalism, hate speech, negative ethnicity, nepotism and exploitation of employees by their employers are just but a drop in the ocean of the crisis impunity in Kenya today. However this does not mean that we as young scholars have given in to impunity. With the critical and creative tools of transformation at play we are assured of light at the end of the tunnel.

William Shakespeare stated that “the world is a stage where each one of us has our coming and our going”. By this am mirroring the intellectual integrity. This involves practicing what one advocates for others and to honestly admit discrepancies and inconsistencies in our thoughts and actions. This is to mean that if your role as an actor on stage has lapsed then you have no business hanging on. Many times where fellows we honor have disappointed us. By this am talking of high ranking men and women in our society who adamantly hold on to power in the public offices despite the fact that their tenure has lapsed. This has been seen in our foreign envoys, vice chancellors (KEMU) and even heads of security. A good example is our attorney general who has dismally performed at his helm and despite this he has held on to his office and smoothed the rate of impunity in our country. The Ag is on record saying ‘I was not informed”, “I was kept in the dark”, “ I ordered an investigation but I have not been made aware of the outcome”, and statements of such genre concerning matters of national security and interest . This is a show of incompetence and when such a case presents itself, one has no choice but to exit in merit from office since he can no longer perform and by so doing you save your integrity. This trend in Kenya has gone untamed and has lead to utter impunity especially extra judicial killings which is a monotonous rhyme in Kenya.

The issue of political party euphoria has caught up with Kenyans again. This has played a major role in our voting patterns. We as Kenyans have overlooked issues and voted back corrupt individuals back to power and they hence continue with the norm which is corruption. As scholars we should be able to question any decision we make despite the fact that many people tend to agree with it. This is where intellectual courage plays center stage. This involves having the consciousness to recognize that ideas considered dangerous or absurd are sometimes rationally justified and that some of the beliefs inculcated in us are sometimes misleading and false. Therefore, we as voters should not passively conform to the latest wave. We need courage to truce to our own thinking in such circumstances. We shou8ld be able to proof read the leaders records before we vote them in. Many leaders have been a source of corruption and negative ethnicity and we should be all eyes not to bring such crop of fellows back to power. This will go a long way in curbing impunity emanating from our voting pattern.

Intellectual humility is another tool of transformation. It involves having consciousness of the limit of one’s knowledge. Avoiding egocentrism, bias, prejudice and limitation to ones view point. This does not mean submissiveness or spinelessness but rather lack of intellectual pretentiousness. This should be applied in areas of employment. It’s in the recent past that the industrialization minister had been on the limelight for impunitively appointing Mr. Koskey as the managing director of the Kenya bureau of statistics. This was against the board recommendations. This is an act of boastfulness and disregard to the already existing institutions. However Hon Kosgey’s case is one in the sea of many illegal employments that Kenya is facing. Prejudice and bias is a recipe for impunity especially when dragged in areas of public office appointment s. this illegal appointments lead to nepotism to payback the appointing power.

Many employers in Kenya have underpaid and overworked their employees .There is cases in the national media where employees have been injured in the line of duty but they have not been compensated. This notwithstanding on the overtime, which goes unpaid. This is an example of the various forms of impunity in our industries today. Even without the government intervention employers should apply intellectual empathy which involves the need to put oneself in place of others in order to genuinely understand them. Employers should be able to feel with their employees and see whether they can survive in the dare conditions they subject their employees through.

Today, we Kenyans may seem to give up on the fight against impunity. These maybes because, the process tends to be a tall order to accomplish the desired outcome. Our corridors of justice have been marred with impunity and load. This may shutter any effort gear towards fighting impunity and to humans who are readily impatient. However, we should be able to apply the intellectual perseverance which calls for persistence despite the many obstacles and frustrations we as scholars and Kenyan citizens should be geared towards positive outcome despite the irrational opposition at play. The fight against impunity is for the patient and the optimistic.

Curbing impunity and its surrogates can be quiet tricky this calls for faith in reason. That is to say that in the long run one’s higher interest and those of society as a whole will be best served by giving the freest play to reason. This can be applied in areas where people caught in corrupt deals tend to involve their tribes and communities and uttering slogans like we are being targeted. When one has been indicted, he should be able to carry his own cross and avoid dragging their community in the fiasco. We should apply faith in reason as a society and let every man carry his load.

Fair mindedness is another tool of transformation. This calls for treating all viewpoints equally without bias or prejudice or better yet any vested interest. This should be paramount in areas of decision making in the society at all levels, i.e. Fair justice, fair allocation of resources, fair making of examination, fair governance and fair access to social amenities. This list is endless and thus fair-mindedness approach should apply at all times for a growing nation in readiness to curb impunity.

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