MEDIA OPPRESSION IS CITIZENS’ OPPRESSION

If you’ve been watching news recently, you’ll have noticed that media freedom is curtailed. Recently Obama was in for a media bill that left him in distaste safe for that he is a Democrat. In Zimbabwe, the only fully functional media organ is Government-owned meaning it is easily manipulated. Closer home, The Daily Monitor was yesterday described as a crime scene by the Kampala Metropolitan Police Boss and has been under closure for the better part of this week. Recently, the Royal Media Service had its transmissions interfered with amidst allegations of foul play on their part in frequency usage and acquisition. Whichever the truth is, Africa and the world as a whole is far from realising FREEDOM – be it freedom of any type.
In countries where ombudsmen are government puppets, an independent media remains the only reliable public watchdog provided they don’t propagate fallacious propaganda.

I read a blog recently that claimed the quote “No one is free when others are oppressed,” makes no sense. The blogger: “No one is free UNLESS others are oppressed” had likened it to Night/Day, Hot/Cold, Pleasure/Pain. So, if no one were oppressed, would everyone be free? Yes… But, over time, Universal Freedom would become less of a phenomenon, and with new generations it would require history books and the sharing of stories to perpetuate awareness and understanding of what freedom really is.

There would come a day when the contradiction of Freedom and Oppression would be like a myth from ancient times, until it is forgotten altogether–as if not to exist–even though”freedom” is now “shared by all.” Is there a growing “distinction epidemic” in the minds of people today that’s pulling us apart, or is it essential for our eventual social harmony and enlightenment? I like this:”I am me, but I am not me, independent of you.” To me, it perfectly portrays balance in distinction between freedom and the right to enjoy that freedom.

Borrowing from my Ethics lecturer, a freedom stops being one the moment it infringes on other people’s.Live and let live. We want freedom alright, and no one wants to be oppressed, but we shouldn’t meddle in other people’s freedom. Much as I feel that one Boniface’s handling at the hands of the police after having given COTU boss his piece of mind was wrong, I also feel that Atwoli must have felt aggrieved at being labelled a traitor. Or aren’t slander and libel torts?

We need our freedom and as such the government should pave a leeway for freedom attainment, a path with no or fewer obstacles. The maxim of JUSTICE DELAYED IS JUSTICE DENIED is one of those ascribed to by Kenya and is in the Constitution. We as Kenyans are demanding for our freedom. Freedom to express ourselves provided we don’t surpass the stipulated Constitutional limit.

The views expressed above are those of Bironga O’Makori.

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