Nandi Governor Stephen Sang’s arrest for questioning over the destruction of property at a tea factory is, regrettably, the continuation of a rather new low for the county leaders. He joins several other governors who have been in the news for all the wrong reasons — including engaging in corruption and public displays of repulsive behaviour. Of course, Mr Sang is innocent until proven guilty by a competent authority once the allegations against him are fully investigated.
However, the governor has found himself under scrutiny following reports that he and other local leaders, alleging the illegal allocation of the factory land, decided to take the law into their own hands. This is a crude approach to resolving a dispute and is hardly what would have been expected of leaders, who should always set a good example for the rest of the society.
This is also unacceptable in a society that cherishes the rule of law. If the leaders cannot follow due process, then we are, clearly, courting disaster. There are proper ways of handling disputes between individuals, groups and various organisations to ensure justice. Leaders, especially the elected ones, have a vital duty, as representatives of the people, to promote law and order.
Such unbecoming behaviour can only undermine public confidence in the existing dispute resolution mechanism. We commend the security personnel for quickly apprehending the suspects and hope that the investigations will be similarly promptly and thoroughly carried out and appropriate judgment made quickly.
It’s important, however, that leaders resist the temptation to play to the gallery and act in a manner that glorifies wrongdoing. They should set an example for those whom they lead on the need for the fair handling and just resolution of disputes.