My Mashujaa? Why, Bitches and Kvetches, Of Course!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014 - 20:33, by Patrick Gathara
In her insightful article, Memorialisation and memory of human rights abuses: a Kenyan example, Laragh Larsen notes the importance of memorials in not just commemorating the past but also in sanitising it. She also highlights the importance of alternatives to the official histories propagated by the state: “While official memory of Mau Mau was suppressed through decades of state-endorsed amnesia,” she writes, “published memoirs of former fighters and detainees of the rebellion allowed Mau Mau to stay alive in the public memory.”

As we mark Mashujaa Day, a day which is meant to… ( Read on! )

The ICC's Dilemma In Uhuru, Ruto Cases

Friday, October 17, 2014 - 08:17, by Patrick Gathara
Last week, Uhuru Kenyatta made history. On Tuesday, he became the first sitting President to hand over power to his Deputy and two days later, paradoxically was the first sitting President to ever appear before the International Criminal Court. On his return, he was treated to a hero’s welcome with thousands thronging the streets, egged on by his administration. According to one poll, his approval ratings soared to 71 percent, compared to 43 percent just two months ago.
“Politics is theatre. It doesn't matter if you win. You make a… ( Read on! )

The Guilt Of Victims

Sunday, October 05, 2014 - 07:31, by Patrick Gathara
Of all the conventions we demand of our courtrooms, few are as important or a well known as the presumption of innocence and the requirement for guilt to be proven beyond all reasonable doubt. For good reason, given the awesome power the state wields and its capacity as well as historical inclination to visit all sorts of horrible consequences on the citizen. However, while necessary in criminal proceedings, they are neither standards of truth nor do we generally employ them in everyday life.

Thus it has been strange, though perhaps not surprising, to hear them being repeatedly cited over… ( Read on! )

Can We Share The Kenyan Space?

Thursday, October 02, 2014 - 08:18, by Patrick Gathara
In the 1970s, Dutch traffic engineer, Hans Monderman, came up with the concept of “shared space” after being asked to reduce the speed of traffic in a village in north Holland. He eliminated all forms of regulation on the street and to his nervous surprise, found that average speeds fell by half. According to this 2006 article by Emma Clarke, John Adams, professor of geography at University College London, whose research laid the foundation for Monderman’s work, argues that when protected from hazards, human beings readjust their risk threshold. ‘You fit a car with better brakes,… ( Read on! )

Despite Its Faults, The ICC Is Still Important

Friday, September 26, 2014 - 18:18, by Patrick Gathara
There is a lot that is wrong with the international justice system. It is not only selective in the cases it chooses to pursue, but many times is weighed down by political as opposed to exclusively legal considerations. In recent times, it has not even proven itself as a particularly effective means of meting out justice even to those it has opted to pursue as evidenced by the International Criminal Court’s woeful conviction record.

Yet for all its faults, it is still important. For many in countries where dominant elites murder and plunder with impunity, it still represents a hope for… ( Read on! )

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Patrick Gathara

Patrick Gathara

He likes to blog about Kenyan and international politics.

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