Who Is Next? The Criminalization of Poverty in Mathare

“Who is next” is the title of a report by Mathare Social Justice Centre ( MSJC) launched on 30th of May at the British Institute in Eastern Africa, in Nairobi. It documents over 50 cases of young men arbitrarily executed by alleged rogue police force members in Mathare. The majority were between 14 and 20 years old. It poses the loaded question, why have extrajudicial killings become accepted as normalized incidents for inner city urban youth in Kenya?

The story of Mathare’s extrajudicial executions of young men is a story repeated in Kibera, Kayole, Dandora, Eastleigh, Majengo in Mombasa and Obunga in Kisumu. It is the reality of been born into hardship and violence in a society that criminalizes youth and poverty.

Happy Grandmother’s Day!

Why don’t we have a grandmother’s day? I wondered about that as I browsed through the list of international days currently observed by the United Nations.

Strange, considering the United Nations goes to great lengths to find solidarity with all of humanity. There is an international day for happiness, to remind everyone that joy is what the planet needs.

A World Rabies day to raise awareness around proper interaction with dogs and why you should remember to schedule your vaccination.

There is a World Toilet day because 1 billion people on earth have never known the luxury and privacy of a clean flush toilet.

A World Television day to celebrate the incredible power of TV to shape the world in its own image.  A day of Yoga, a polite reminder to the progressives that mastering the downward dog is what healthy living is all about these days.

I suppose someone in the UN think tank decided that grandmothers were adequately covered in the day for Widows, Older Persons, Rural Women or the World Elder Abuse day.

They could be right.

African grandmothers tend to fit the profile well; aged, widowed, rural and neglected.