After the tragedy that happened at Westgate Mall people were shocked to find out that soldiers allegedly (I don’t want to be sued) stole from the shops and even from dead victims. When we read about it in the Daily Nation we are outraged. It’s even worse when you read it in a foreign newspaper or tabloid.
The thing is once I thought about I realized we are hypocrites.
This is why.
When a lorry/truck with beer/drinks or food or petrol falls over Kenyans run over to grab what they can. They don’t care that this stuff belongs to somebody else, all they can think about is steal as much as you can before the cops come stop the looting. The rest who are not looting just watch in amusement, not doing anything to stop it.
At the height of post election violence we watched in shock or amusement as people went looting in Kisumu and Mombasa.
Kenyans don’t even respect the injured. When somebody is in an accident you will always find somebody/people who has gone just for the purpose of robbing the hurt or unconscious person of their wallet, cash, phones and other valuables. And others just watch them, some wishing they could do the same.
If the injured person manages to be saved from the greedy crowd before they are robbed, by the time they reach the hospital their valuables are gone. A couple of years ago here is a friend who had a motorbike accident late in the night he crashed into a roundabout. The cops on patrol came, took his stuff and left him for dead. Maybe they thought he was dead, maybe they didn’t care.
Then there are the grave robbers. Those who steal coffins with no respect for the dead. They also steal valuables from the dead as well. That is why if you bury somebody you have to cement the grave so that the grave diggers cannot access the grave.
When there are demonstrations there will always be those people out to loot. University students (who should know better) have become master looters. They go on strike for a small reason and suddenly town becomes a battle zone and a looting zone as well.
Then there are those who steal from their employers. They steal envelopes, staplers, etc, some steal fuel, many recreate their expense accounts or give fake receipts, and then there is the theft of time from the employer to do other businesses or spend time on social media instead of working.
Then there are those who steal from the government. Why pay taxes if you can get away without paying them? Tax evasion is big business in this country.
Then there were those that started a career in theft early in childhood, stealing others rubbers, pencils, rulers, sweaters etc. Others stole from their parents.
If you are not guilty of any of the above please raise your hand. If not bow your head in shame.
We cannot expect the cops to be responsible and respect the property of others when we don’t. They are Kenyans like us, who do the above things. It seems we don’t respect either the dead or the living. Many Kenyans both big and small are thieves, the only difference is that they have not been caught on camera or as the Swahili methali says “siku za mwizi ni arubaini” so their day hasn’t reached.
Maybe the question we should all be asking ourselves is, where did our values go?