Njoki Chege has had an interesting couple of months. Why? May you ask? As one of the two dissenting voices in the judgment that overturned Uhuru Kenyatta’s victory, she has been under constant attack for the decision she made. This is a case of damned if you don’t and damned if you do. A hero to some and a pariah to others for her decision.
So it may come as a pleasant surprise for her that media great Julie Gichuru came out with a heartfelt message of support for the Lady Justice that was both touching and memorable. He message was an ode to the triumphs that Njoki Ndungu had been able to accomplish in her law career. The Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai was also not forgotten in the message.
For Njoki Ndungu I know this message of support must have come at a very important time. Despite our politics, it is good to see someone be supported in this culture of constantly tearing each other for sport. Below is the message:
“You are my HERO alongside our fellow Loreto sister Wangari Maathai.
I watched you passionately work on the Sexual Offences Bill then present it to a hostile parliament that vowed to shoot down any attempt to protect women. You lobbied tirelessly & against all odds saw the passage of the Sexual Offences Act 2006, an Act that now provides a firm foundation for the protection of women, children & men. Resolute, determined, knowledgeable, principled & purposeful, you MADE A DIFFERENCE.
During the post election mayhem of 2007/2008 I struggled to find Voices of Reason amidst the threatening bray of loud extremists. You spoke up for peace & justice when many others were fearful. You took a NOBLE STAND FOR KENYA.
I watched you work diligently on the Constitution of Kenya Review Commission, making time to inform & educate Kenyans on the content of the draft. When you were concerned that processes were not being followed in the Commission you spoke out, UNBOWED BY PRESSURE & INFLUENCE.
You have delivered the most thorough, detailed & researched dissenting opinion in the Supreme Court ruling on the 2017 General Election. UNBOWED, you have spoken hard truths, for that you are now under fire from some quarters. Such is life.
George Orwell wrote a fascinating essay, Shooting an Elephant. As a young officer in Burma, he was notified of an elephant that wandered into the village. A growing, braying mob that resented him goaded him on, demanding that he shoot the elephant. He knew it was scared, it had caused damage, agitated when it first wandered into the village but now the majestic animal was calm. He felt strongly that the right thing to do was to lead it safely, unharmed, out of the village. But this was not popular with the loud extreme voices of the mob. So, what was he to do?
You, Lady Justice Njoki Ndungu, refused to ‘shoot an elephant’. Most importantly, you took the time, effort & care to give the situation the time, effort & seriousness that it deserved. I salute you!
You are an exemplar. Stand tall as the winds blow. Your foundations are strong, woman of purpose, substance & grace. Stand tall knowing that there are so many more standing with you!”