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Award a vote for justice

Thursday April 9 2020

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There is finally some good news for two families whose patriarchs suffered torture and detention without trial at the hands of a repressive regime.

The High Court has awarded late politicians Jean-Marie Seroney and Charles Rubia Sh17 million each for the injustices inflicted for their political activities.

Seroney was a firebrand MP who excelled with powerful contributions in the National Assembly. Rubia, the first African mayor of Nairobi, was a long-serving MP and Cabinet minister.

The court ruled that there was sufficient proof that the two men were illegally detained.

Both suffered incarceration and became seriously ill for only exercising their freedom of expression, a right that is enshrined in the Constitution.



Seroney was arrested for uttering words that should have been privileged, having been spoken on the floor of Parliament.

Rubia, who was also a successful businessman, successfully campaigned for the restoration of multiparty democracy.

After a long wait, justice has finally been done. However, no amount of money can fully compensate the two families for the agony they suffered from that separation.

Nonetheless, the cash award is a symbolic gesture that should go some way in bringing this matter to closure.

It is a shame, however, that taxpayers will bear this financial burden. Ideally, the leaders responsible for this miscarriage of justice and their accomplices should have been required to pay for it.

It is also a pity that the two men who suffered the injustice did not live to enjoy the compensation. This is an indictment of the wheels of justice, which turn quite slowly.

However, the significance of these rulings is that, never again should such a blatant violation of constitutional rights and fundamental freedoms occur in a democratic society whose ideals we truly cherish.