OFF MY CHEST: Why is the law applied so selectively? - Daily Nation

OFF MY CHEST: Why is the law applied so selectively?

Friday May 4 2018

How the so-called very important people are treated by police often contrasts sharply with how the ordinary person is treated. ILLUSTRATION| IGAH

How the so-called very important people are treated by police often contrasts sharply with how the ordinary person is treated. ILLUSTRATION| IGAH 

By GEORGE AJIGO

 “Excuse me sir, but no one is allowed inside with gum in the mouth!” shouted a security guard as I was entering the library.

“Why?” I asked.

“Lest you stick it under a table,” she replied, matter-of-factly.

“I shall do no such thing, I swear!”

I even pledged to present myself before her on my way out to show her I had not disposed of the gum - at least not in the distasteful manner she had described but still had it in my mouth. She didn’t budge.

I was about to ask her to fetch a Bible by which to swear but realised she was not likely to be swayed, so I turned round, found a dustbin and spat the gum inside before she allowed me in.

DISGUSTING HABIT

For sure, the habit of sticking gum under tables or seats is disgusting. This happens even in public service vehicles. I once sat on one in a matatu. Oh, there is the one I saw inside an old elevator – stuck in the place where the “up” button used to be.

And if you have tried to clean gum off the soles of your shoes, you know how frustrating it is! You want to curse the Neanderthal who spat it on the ground! Few things are more annoying.

The incident triggered thoughts of the law their enforcement.

It always seems that there are two sets of laws: one for the mighty (rich) and the other for the weak (poor). There are laws and regulations from which the former are exempt while the latter have no choice.

How the so-called very important people are treated by police often contrasts sharply with how the ordinary person is treated.

If an ordinary person is suspected or accused of a crime, watch how he is handled. He is grabbed by the waistbands, hauled into the rear of a police van, sometimes head-first, before being driven away to a police station!

What of the VIP? You get the impression that an invitation is extended and once at the police station, accompanied of course by a battery of advocates, over a steaming cup of tea or hot chocolate, they are informed of being under investigations of this kind or the other.

Then and only then do they record a statement. Rarely are they taken into custody. We probably won’t hear of the case after that. 

See, the mighty are exempt (at least they want to be) from such things as the ubiquitous security checks or queuing e.g. at the bank, supermarket, to enter the court house, etc.

A friend told me of an incident at a supermarket. Edging his trolley-full of grocery towards the till, he was shoved aside by the body guards of a big shot also out shopping, in order to make room at the head of the queue.

Remember when a vocal MP fell afoul of the law and during interrogation at a police station shouted that they are the ones who made laws and could break them when they wanted to?

Not too long ago, a well-known media personality and a rights activist forced an MP to observe the Highway Code.

As if on cue, a brave young citizen the other day similarly forced the chauffeur of another MP off the wrong side of the road to the correct lane. No doubt, the Mheshimiwa was late for a very important meeting.

Wouldn’t it be great if everyone obeyed the law?

***

To share your own story, please E-mail: [email protected]