Amongst the instructions that God gave to the Israelites was on how to live with each other in harmony. Narrowing to this was the aspect of justice. In Leviticus 19:15 he said …you shall not do unrighteousness in judgement: thou shall not respect the poor , nor honour the person of the mighty; but in righteousness thou shall you judge your neighbour. He, God is not a respecter of persons. He is concerned with all. The race, social strata, gender etc are not a consideration to him. All are equal before him (Genesis 1:27,31).
In Leviticus 19:18 he said…do not take revenge on anyone or continue to hate him(who has wronged you), but love your neighbour as you love yourself (Mathew 22.39). This would be out of the recognition that there is a system through which differences are settled – like the judicial system.
Is this the reality in our land Kenya? Is justice applied on a leveled ground as it ought to be? Our kenyan national anthem has the statement…justice be our shield and defender that we may dwell in unity… This is what may be termed as empty words, beautifully and systematically composed and scribed. Justice is nowadays traded based on the muscles that one has.
In the informal systems, the poor may experience favour due to their lowly position which is a fault to the law of God. However, the most popular scenario is that the rich and wealth have power to influence the course of justice over the poor. They have a way of calling the tune having paid the piper. Bribery and corruption is rampant and year after year it moves from bad to worse. Perversion, delay, denial and false justice is part of the daily deliverables in our judicial system. It is the case of purchased justice.
But who then is your neighbor? Jesus declared that our neighbours are whoever that is near you (Luke 10.29-37). Whether they be strangers to you, rich or poor, different tribes, different gender, different family, etc , they deserve to be treated with justice and love.
The system in which justice is awarded is full of unfairness. With the sentences, fines, bails, etc awarded, the quantity of the deliverables lets out a sigh of pain. There seems to be a judgement scale for the rich men to that of poor men. If the national anthem words are to be realized, if unity is to be a reality then justice has to be the dipstick. Justice has to be implemented in resource allocation, treatment before the law, policy formulation, rules and regulations implementation, etc. The call to justice is for ALL irrespective of the level on the ladder the individual is and and who they are.