Trucks and small vehicles belonging to some charcoal traders were burnt to ashes in Kitui under executive orders from her Excellency Charity Ngilu. Was that wrong? My answer seem to lay between a no and a maybe not.
Charcoal trade just like logging are legal businesses (very legal) in Kenya but their effect to the larger society is worse than that of the illegal narcotics trade.
A view on the Google earth satellite on Kenya will inform you that we are speedily heading towards desertification at quite an alarming rate, thanks to our excellent entrepreneurial skills and our less regard for our environment. Unfortunately we are not alarmed; we view every vegetation and tree in our vicinity in terms of “how much?”
What Ngilu did is what criminologists and security experts would term as: General deterrence.
It is the reason why after the French man Joseph Ignace Guillotine hatching an idea on punishment by beheading and presenting it before French National Assembly and the King, a committee was formed chaired by king’s personal physician Antoine Louis and from it a recommendation was made that the guillotine blade had to be set up in the middle of the city (CBD),
Beheadings of societal criminals were also to be done during a strictly-compulsory town meeting; where everybody including children had to attend and witness.
Those caught prostituting were cut off their hands, while those brought for stealing and killing were cut of their heads.
This was not just a punishment to the individual criminals being beheaded but a strong deterrent to any potential criminal within the society.
That was 1798 in France; Here in Kenya 2014 President Uhuru used the same great approach.
He had to make a statement to the world; he ignored court orders and went ahead to ‘illegally’ blow up a ship that was allegedly shipping a consignment of narcotics (among other goods) to or via Kenya.
He had to send a message not to the owner of the blown ship but to other shippers and narco terrorists.
Governor Ngilu did just what was supposed to be done. Not every legal thing is the right thing; it takes one man’s strong stand to make the brainless crowd to realize their behinds are burning. That’s what leadership is.
Beccaria said humans are inherently evil and hedonistic in nature; the commit any act after measuring Pleasure vs. pain, profit vs. any possibility of loss.
True to that, any trader thinking of venturing into deforesting for charcoal in Kitui will have to think twice, measure possible profits vs. any possible loss and definitely a make an informed decision.
Other regions should follow suit instead of crying of loggers and Naked Dry Rivers.
Before Kenyans weep to the world of famine and drought We ought to see least 10 trucks belonging to loggers burning in Mt. Kenya , Aberdare and other forests. Logging is still happening despite the famous 90 days ban.
From Yatta plateau Emerges of a warrior in the name of Charity Ngilu.