The Rising Cases of Homicides in Kenya, Why are we failing at capturing our Mental Realities?

This month serves as the World Mental Month.

The last one year or so has activated shocking revelation of cold blood murders. A body
count of fallen Kenyans at the hands of fellow country men and women, over the period, can
shock the souls out of killers based in the notorious Caribbean death hotspots. On September 4 th ,
2018, Kenyans woke up to the news of discovery of a mutilated body belonging to Sharon
Otieno. The, then Rongo University student, had been murdered, while carrying a pregnancy,
and body dumped in Kodera Forest. Since then, every other month, in the Kenyan calendar, has
realized brutal deaths of women, and men, in totally shocking circumstances. While formal
criminal justice systems have not apportioned the cause of these deaths to mental challenges, it is
time Kenya indulged in a collective exercise to determine it’s the mental realities facing its
people.

Anyone who undertakes to end the life of another, regardless of the causal circumstances,
is mentally mis-aligned. It is a sad truth to imagine that no one has ever pinned issues like
psychosocial deviance to such happenings as homicides. Most of these murders are committed
by individuals who fully understand the consequences of their actions. There was a case in the
Coast Region, in which a Deputy OCS murdered, his alleged girlfriend, and then took his life.
Even if the society has taught its children to react violently in variant situations, we need to
admit that this trajectory is is a mental conditioning reality that takes people away from proper
ways of reasoning.

To illustrate how social conditioning has taken we to where we are, in terms of homicide
cases, it is necessary to reinstate the fact that majority of these victims are women. Our society
has, for centuries, accepted violence from men as a way of affirming dominance. Therefore, even
when exposure to other cultures neutralized this primitive stereotype, a substantial number of
men are unable to mentally exit from such behavior. In a world with dynamics such as
eceonomic pressure, expectations and a changed responsibility scenario, we now have men who
eventually take lives out of women in a deranged sense of entitlement. Every action of homicide emanates from mental processes. Whether conducted by social criminals, psychopaths or hitmen, it is an issue of derailed mental faculties.

It is therefore the time to initiate a proper ethical dimension in our country. It is time to
insist on bringing up our children in mentally sound environments. It is time to criminalize any
family set-up that facilitates the growth of mental deviance. We are living in a century focusing
on prevention, rather than cure. It is easier to culture children, in a proper manner, than respond
to homicides or live with consequences of lost lives. Ivy Wangeci’s parents and the State had
spent immense resources in educating her. Today, the parents have lost. The state cannot make
value of its resources. Most critically, Ivy had to let go all dreams and aspirations in the most
brutal of homicides. We, must, therefore, pull all our strings together, and initiate proper ethos
as a country.

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