There’s a Coffee House around the corner…

A few months ago, a friend read one of my pieces and wrote to me. She said that it seemed that I was not afraid of voicing my opinions. I responded with one of my goofy answers. But wait…

I am afraid of voicing my opinions. That is why I will hide them in goofy comic book reviews and super bike raves. I am afraid of critique and criticism. I am afraid that you will judge me because of my opinions.

But then again, who am I to think that what I write, what I try to express in my blog, even matters to you? I would never ask myself this question when I am lost in one of my egoistic conceited modes. But today, when I am faced with something that does matter I ask myself whether my voice is enough to influence the society I live in.

This morning, a friend and I got into a discussion about the Jon Cardon Wagner case.

We both came to the same conclusion:

“Wagner may or may not have had sex with the young girls in his case, but it is very likely that that fact is not the reason the matter got to the police or went to court.”

In a country where corruption is so rampant that some consider it second nature, you can understand why we both came to that point.

Where it should be a case of a person or persons caring about safeguarding and protecting children, it is a matter of ‘let us see how much money we can get out of it’.

This attitude is the reason why Aunties, and Uncles, sometimes even parents, will auction of their little wards for a 50 bob session, and if they are *lucky* to a foreign tourist for a 1000 bob session of sex. 

I am angry, I suppose to a certain extent I will always be angry, about the ability of a society to be so complacent that they will watch as children lose or sell their innocence. 

Whether it is that child who is sold off on a regular basis, or the child who is sexually abused for years, corruption will still figure somehow in whatever due legal, or shall I say, illegal process that may result.

Let me mention, for instance, a child who was abused for years, when the matter did come to the police, the man was able to bribe the police so that the file details were altered from one point to another. And guess what, he could not be convicted of statutory rape, or anything close to what he had done. Instead he went down with ‘causing bodily harm’ a slap on the hand and a 12-month sentence. In a few months time, he was out to rape another child.

What about this case? A mother decided that she was going to get a bit of money from a wealthy man. Times are hard, you see. It was very simple to her. She could accuse the man of raping her child, and the man fearing for his reputation and freedom would be very willing to fork out some money to keep the woman quiet. Well, you see, the man actually had been having sexual relationship with the said child, aged 11 years. But when the mother got the money, she let the matter go.

What if the man, wealthy and important had decided not to pay the blackmail money? And what if the man was by some chance, innocent of the crime, would the system, would society be able to see that or would an innocent man be convicted for all the other guilty persons’ crimes ?

The issues are confused, but not really you see. Children’s rights, human rights should never ever be a matter governed by money.

But they are, in this society, aren’t they? 

When Wagner was first charged with defilement some time last year, a friend of mine announced that she was going to boycott the Coffee Houses connected to Wagner. I was outraged. In the first place, my cousin who works in one of the coffee houses needs his job. And second, what a skewed way to look at the issues that affect our country!

That is why tomorrow, in a courthouse somewhere; a mother will be pulled aside and offered money to ‘drop’ a case, in which she is accusing someone of defiling her son. Isn’t it time to sort our heads out around the real issues?

© Juliet Maruru 2009


2 thoughts on “There’s a Coffee House around the corner…

  1. Great. It reminds me of some news I read about Nigeria in the 80s. Cops would be bribed not to patrol certain streets where banks were situated. One day the robbers came, as usual, but the cops were there and several of the thugs were killed. The head thug went on a revenge mission and started executing cops.
    You are right. Where are the systems in place?


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