Yet another LSK meeting yet another fiasco. It would actually be funny, had the matters at hand not been so grave. The men and women we see in crude brawling are actually learned counsel. Refinement and poise are supposed to be their mainstay. Not so, not so.
Two advocates apparently on opposite sides of the debate in particular stood out. Charles Kanjama and Edwin Sifuna demonstrated just how great the gulf is between the establishment and the pro change Okoa LSK group.
Mr Kanjama literally stalked his counterpart while all the while whispering what has been claimed to be disturbingly depraved comments. While only Mr Kanjama can shed enlightenment on why he choose to act in this most bizarre fashion, there can be no doubt that his behavior was targeted rather than general. He only elected to pursue Mr Sifuna to the exclusion of all other speakers who took to the floor.
Only the two advocates know which words were exchanged, but Mr Kanjama’s claim to have only said three words “Please take care” is at an extravagant variance with the video clip which shows him in continuous conversation while doggedly tracking his fellow lawyer for close to a minute. An observer from a distance would be hardpressed to believe that he only uttered three words.
Mr Sifuna maintains no reputation as a gentle fairy. That being said, Mr Kanjama’s conduct was perilously close to harassment. Had Mr Sifuna’s gender been different his behavior would have warranted far weightier adjectives.
In the United States, “Stand Your Ground”, “Line in the Sand”, or “No Duty to Retreat” laws state that a person has no duty or other requirement to abandon a place in which he/she has a right to be, or to give up ground to an assailant. Under such laws, there is no duty to retreat from anywhere the defender may legally be.
While Kenya does not have such statues, it is ridiculous to expect people seeking to adhere to the law to run and hide in the face of bullies who decide to act at the fringe margins of the law. It is clear from observing the video footage that this was a case of one person invading the personal space of another in a most obtrusive in your face kind of way. Such behavior cannot be reciprocated with meekness. As Country singer Kenny Rodgers sang in the song ‘Coward of the County’
I walk away from trouble when I can. Its understandable why sometimes you have got to fight when you are a man and indeed why Sifuna walked a way from short man Kanjama!