5 January 2012

Kenya: Off Duty Baraza Was an Ordinary Citizen


DEPUTY Chief Justice Nancy Baraza had an altercation with a security guard at Village Market on New Year's Eve.

Baraza was rushing into the chemist and wanted to skip the mandatory security check at the entrance. She got into an argument with the guard who later reported to Gigiri police station that she had been threatened with a pistol.

What happened is not exactly clear but yesterday Baraza released a statement that the incident was "unfortunate". Baraza appears to have been annoyed that the security guard did not treat her as a VIP. But why should the guard have recognised her? And even if she had recognised her, Baraza should have stood in the queue with other Kenyans waiting for her turn to be checked.

The Deputy Chief Justice is a very important position and its occupant should be treated with all proper respect. But Baraza was not on official duty at Village Market. She was an ordinary Kenya while she was off duty. She should have stood in line at the security check even if she was in a hurry. Former civil society activists above all should not confuse the pomp of their office with their own personal importance.

Quote of the day: "I know everything except myself" - French poet Francois Villon was banished from Paris on January 5, 1463.

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