Celebrating East African Writing!
Written by Noella Luka
Getting Justice is one such story; a documentary that features Kenya’s deadly game of wait and see. A screening of the documentary was done on the first day of Storymoja’s Hay Festival 2012 at the Ford Hall, Nairobi National Museum. The documentary seeks to provoke conversations on governance, security and the rule of law.
The documentary presents Human Rights Activist Maina Kiai’s quest to get questions, testimonies and explore options for justice for the 2007/2008 post election violence victims.
“When the ICC prosecutes, it only prosecutes the ‘big fish,” these are some of the sentiments featured in the documentary.
Linda Wamalwa is a representative of National Youth Alliance sector NYSA, a civil society organization which focuses on policy dialogue for the Kenyan youth. NYSA has partnered with likeminded organizations like Picha Mtaani, a brainchild of award winning Photographer Boniface Mwangi, to make Amani tour possible.
The tour includes screening of a documentary titled Heal the Nation, which highlights events that took place during the 2007/2008 post election violence. There are also; a photo exhibition which features pictures taken during that time, a community theatre, open forum discussions, counselling sessions and thereafter signing of peace pledge forms by members of the public vowing that they will not engage in violence in the next general election scheduled for March 2013.
One thing which the Getting Justice documentary failed to capture is how groups such as of civil society organisations and NGOs strive to promote peace building and reconciliation in the country.
Robert Munuku a project coordinator at PAWA 254 is part of Kenya ni Kwetu Amani Tour. “We are currently undertaking the ‘Kenya ni Kwetu Amani Tour’ in five different counties: Laikipia, Bomet, Eldoret, Naivasha and Molo. It has been running from June 2012. Currently, screening of Heal the Nation is ongoing in slums within Nairobi. It aims to point to the fact that we only have one country which we should not be derailed by unscrupulous leaders to destroy.”
Richard Culp Robinson has attended two Amani Tours so far, Naivasha and Molo. “In Naivasha, I was amazed that even when the DC was telling people to stay away from the tour, people still came and filled the peace pledges,” says Mr. Robinson. He adds that the Amani Tour is a model that can be adapted in Congo, Angola, Rwanda, and South Africa mainly because it is an effective way to let people know how to reflect on politics that greatly affects them and their rights.
The documentary’s soundtrack is well suited to its theme. As Mr. Kiai does the narration and interviews, the background music is taken from Kenya’s Eric Wainaina’s Twende Twende and Sawa Sawa albums. Eric is a Kenyan whose peace songs Daima (Forever) and Kenya Only were played on high rotation during the reconciliation period.
Maina Kiai lets you travel with him in the documentary. For example, we see his experience trying to get an appointment with the chief of Police at the time, Mohammed Ali, recordings of telephone conversations, visits to a police station in Nakuru and interactions with displaced Kenyans at IDP camps.
As a whole, Getting Justice is a very informative documentary.