By Vera Marion
The book ‘Animal Farm’ by George Orwell is popular for its theme of equality, a concept where everyone is equal. However, as the book is famously quoted ‘some animals are more equal than others’.
For a very long time, our courts have been issuing light sentences to those who have committed major crimes, yet those who are found guilty of committing minor crimes are usually slapped with very heavy penalties that send them staggering to their jail cells in shock.
The most shocking example of our judicial excellence was witnessed recently when an Embu court sentenced a 100 year old woman to three months imprisonment. Where was the moral consciousness of this judge? 100, 000 shillings fine or three months imprisonment for a 100 year old grandmother? The old woman would have collapsed of shock, but her strong resolve saw her through nine days in prison before she was bailed out.
I can only imagine the gasps and whistles of astonishments in that court room when the judge handed down that ruling. Did his or her conscious prick him or her? Even just a little? What about the complainant? Was he happy that a ruling had been made? That the woman who supposedly occupied his land was in jail for ‘contempt of court’? Did that make his day? These are the things that we ponder but never have answers to.
As such, there are some things that we will never know. We will never know why we are all equal, yet there are others who are more equal than us. We are all Kenyan citizens by birth, registration or whatever other forms one becomes a Kenyan citizen by yet we aren’t equal. There are the rich and the poor; there are the well-educate, the less educated and those who are not educated at all. We have the movers and the shakers of this nation and also have the mowers and the shaken of this nation.
George Orwell’s of the animal farm fame saw it during his time and many years on we are now, as Kenyans reliving the animal story in more ways than George Orwell could ever imagine. As long as there are human beings; equality will never be more than a dream. Because in truth there will always be those who are more equal than others.
By Vera Marion