Violence In Kenya Essay

1834 words - 8 pages

On the eastern coast of Africa lies a land full of sunny blue skies and large plains in which zebras and elephants roam. This land is the country of Kenya. Outside of Kenya’s cities and towns lies many samples of natures beauty. Unfortunately, the people living in this land are troubled by their struggle with the government and trying to form a democracy. Matthew Carotenuto stated, “Much of the world had historically viewed Kenya as an island of peace and economic potential in a roiling sea of stateless chaos.” What he means is that people have long seen Kenya as a peaceful place that is surrounded by countries suffering from all sorts of violence and unfortunate circumstances. What many people do not know is that Kenya has a long history for political violence going way back to when the country was colonized. Understanding that Kenya’s past violence was due to their struggle for social and political authority helps us understand some of their violence issues today. According to Maina Kiai, violence broke out after Kenya’s 2007 election. Many people had thought that Kenya was a more peaceful country compared to others in Africa because they were working towards a democracy. Currently Kenya is a republic (“Kenya” The World...). Another thing Kiai mentioned is that one of Kenya’s major political problems is that Kenya's constitution gives the president full power to elect anyone he wants into a political position for any salary he chooses. Scott Baldauf and Robert Crilly also explain how Kenya is trying to become a democracy but its political system is weak and allows the president too much power, making the nation a dictatorship in disguise. This leads to many ethical issues within the governments systems. We should care about Kenya because they are struggling to fight for their freedom of speech, right to live, and their right to not be tortured.
According to Katy Salmon, the Kenyan government is attempting to deny its citizens their freedom of expression through unjust laws. The "Media Bill" or the recently amended Books and Newspaper Act charges publishers an extremely high security bond in order to prevent them from expressing what they want. Many small publishers cannot afford these expensive security bonds and have only two options. They may quit publishing or they can publish illegally. Salmon also states that "Rights groups in Kenya are refusing to comply with a recently passed media law widely regarded as muzzling the press and freedom of expression." Shiraz Durrani claims that Kenyans are being restricted by the government about what they may discuss and write about and so many publications have become part of an underground library. This “library” is simply all the writings being published and spread around illegally. Makau wa Mutua claims that people who speak out against the government for malpractice are often imprisoned. According to James Forole Jarso, the governments restrictions on people’s freedom of speech is to prevent vital...

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